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The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Natural gas from local landfills and cow manure used at Ohio fuel station to power Amazon’s fleet

 Renewable natural gas fueling station pump in Groveport [Andy Chow /  Statehouse News Bureau]
Renewable natural gas fueling station pump in Groveport

Ohio has become the first state to host a renewable natural gas fueling station that's designed to support Amazon’s plan to deploy more heavy-duty trucks that run on RNG.

The renewable natural gas station in Groveport is operated by Clean Energy Corp. and is the first of about 19 that will be placed around the country for Amazon this year.

“What you're seeing here today is how the industry is pivoting to trucks that move goods. And what's happened more importantly really for the environment is we've shifted over to renewable natural gas. We're actually harnessing natural gas, methane that's coming out of dairy farms or landfills, cleaning it up a little bit, putting it in a pipeline, and then putting in these trucks,” said Littlefair.

Evan Barton is the owner and operator of South Fork Dairy in Newark, which is supplying methane to the Groveport fueling station.

Barton said his farm produces about four truckloads of milk every day, but also 13 truckloads of manure a day. He said putting a digester on his farm to store the manure makes sense financially and environmentally. He added that his neighbors are happier.

“I love my cows, but from an odor standpoint, sometimes my neighbors don't love them so much. So this digestion process, it's just a benefit that the manure, after it runs through this digester, won't have as much odor as we apply out on the fields to provide fertilizer for our crops. So, we look forward to that benefit. And like I said, I think my neighbors will, too,” said Barton.

The RNG station in Groveport is currently providing fuel for 50 Amazon heavy-duty trucks. That fleet is expected to grow to more than 80 trucks. There are four pumps that can fill a truck in 15 minutes and a few dozen more that would require a few hours.

The filling station was created to handle the demand from Amazon but it is also open for commercial use by other fleets.

A group of state senators were at the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the fueling station. Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) said the new fueling station can be celebrated as a bipartisan achievement.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.