By Fred Stabbert III
Town of Delaware Supervisor Ed Sykes sat back in his seat last Wednesday night, looking his...
Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is working in conjunction with M&R Energy Resources, its energy procurement consultant, to become the first large Sullivan County business to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as its primary fuel source.
The transition to CNG will save CRMC $200,000 annually in fuel and related costs as well as reduce its carbon footprint. CRMC began consuming CNG in December 2015, made possible through
the consulting assistance of M&R Energy Resources.
“We have the responsibility of helping the hospital find ways to reduce its cost of energy by managing their procurement of electricity and finding an alternative to fuel oil,” said M&R Energy Resources President and CEO, Melissa Cobuzzi. “Compressed natural gas allows for natural gas delivery for businesses where natural gas isn’t available through a traditional pipeline system. Instead, it’s transported via a tractor-trailer, as there are no gas pipelines in Sullivan County. Now, new technology in the energy industry has arrived at CRMC and it can be moved via interstate highways.”
That new technology allows natural gas to be compressed so it can be transported in a trailer rather than a pipeline, Cobuzzi said. When CNG arrives to its delivery site, it is decompressed back to its normal natural gas pressure, allowing the gas to be used for its designated purpose.
It also gives CRMC the ability to become a dual-fuel facility, Cobuzzi added. “Historically, there is a tremendous cost difference between fuel oil and natural gas, and this will provide the hospital with significant savings. Additionally, as CRMC continues to upgrade its facility, it will also become a growing ‘green’ partner in Sullivan County.”
“It’s a great alternative to having natural gas available. We save some money and have a secondary fuel source. From an emergency management perspective, that’s reason enough,” said Catskill Regional Medical Center CEO and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gerard Galarneau.“It also decreases our carbon footprint because burning gas is much cleaner than oil.”
In addition, the installation of a new dual-fuel customized boiler is 80 percent more efficient, which further adds to the cost savings when factoring in the CNG usage.
Wayne Cosh, CRMC facility manager, said the carbon footprint reduction may be as large as 25 percent to 30 percent. “This will be a huge savings on our fuel costs,” Cosh added. “Eventually, we will look to change our kitchen system from electric to gas as well. We are also looking forward to the opportunity to manage our costs through structured natural gas hedging programs. We were unable to hedge fuel oil for any long period of time, however, natural gas provides us the opportunity to hedge our fuel cost for up to 60 months. Therefore, the ability controls our costs.”