GEORGETOWN, Texas--December 10, 2012: CleanFUEL USA, a leading supplier of propane autogas infrastructure and engine systems, today announced the installation of 37 propane autogas fueling stations at Menards home improvement stores. Thirty-six Menards locations throughout Illinois, as well as its Eau Claire West store in Wisconsin, will now offer publicly accessible propane refueling.
“Menards is clearly at the forefront in the home improvement retail world in providing environmentally friendly fuels to the public. Their plans to continue expanding the availability of autogas, which provides the same or better performance as gasoline, will benefit their customers, giving them a wider choice of fueling options.”
The new autogas fueling stations are a collaborative effort between CleanFUEL USA and Ferrellgas, a nationwide propane provider; CleanFUEL USA provided the PRO2110 dispenser and 1,000-gallon tanks, and Ferrellgas provided installation services and propane for each location. The Menards retail sites will be open during regular business hours to provide fuel for propane-powered vehicles and cylinders used on gas grills and recreational vehicles.
Menards' Hodgkins, Ill., store, located at 6100 East Avenue, will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, December 12 at 10 a.m. to officially open its new station. The event, which will include a propane autogas vehicle display and fueling demonstration, is open to the public. Roy Willis, president and CEO of the Propane Education and Research Council, will be a featured speaker at the ceremony.
The autogas station project was funded through a $12 million grant from the Department of Energy's (DOE) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Texas State Technical College (TSTC) serves as the lead grantee of the funds, which support the development of a national propane Autogas refueling network, incentives to convert school buses and other fleet vehicles to alternative fuels, and training for green jobs. The DOE estimates that the initiative will help displace millions of gallons of petroleum annually and retrain U.S. veterans, fleet mechanics, and service technicians for work in the alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology industries.
In addition to installing the autogas fueling stations, Menards partnered with Icom North America to convert 140 new Ford pick-up trucks to propane autogas for store operation use at these 37 Menards locations. The Icom, JTG II Liquid Injection System allows the propane vehicle to enjoy similar drive-ability and performance to gasoline with reduced emissions and large fuel cost savings. These same stores will also be receiving propane powered forklifts to replace their existing diesel powered forklifts, with the changeover already taking place at Eau Claire West. Menards also plans to steadily convert its store operation vehicles from gasoline and diesel to propane at other store locations, adding propane autogas fueling stations in the process.
Propane autogas is the third most widely used transportation fuel globally, behind gasoline and diesel, and is proven to be a more attractive option from an economic and environmental standpoint. As the lowest greenhouse gas emitting fuel, propane autogas averages 40 to 50 percent less than gasoline and diesel per gallon. There are more than 52,000 propane autogas refueling stations and 17 million propane-powered vehicles worldwide.
"Propane is a reliable alternative fuel that is clean, safe and cost effective. We're glad to be advancing our company forward into this growing market as propane is a cleaner burning fuel and less expensive, so it's a win-win for everyone."
- Jeff Abbott, Menards, Inc. spokesperson
"I have worked at Menards for 12 years and after driving one of our first propane-powered pickups, found there is no difference in performance or drivability when compared to a gasoline powered pickup truck. My wife and third-grade daughter brag to their friends that I drive a more environmentally friendly pickup. It's really a cool thing!"
- Kyle Krause, General Manager, Menards in Hodgkins, Ill.
One of the main goals of our grant was to establish a national network of propane autogas refueling locations. The addition of 37 Menards store sites dramatically accelerates the initiative to expand the use of propane autogas in the U.S."
- Anita Knight, Principal Investigator for the DOE ARRA grant program, Texas State Technical College
"Menards is clearly at the forefront in the home improvement retail world in providing environmentally friendly fuels to the public. Their plans to continue expanding the availability of autogas, which provides the same or better performance as gasoline, will benefit their customers, giving them a wider choice of fueling options."
- Curtis Donaldson, founder and CEO, CleanFUEL USA