“The conversion of the county’s equipment to CNG (compressed natural gas) as a stand alone project would not be economical at this time,” Flood wrote.
However, Flood added, “Depending on the outcome of the Bassett Medical Center project and the reception to a municipal gas utility in Cooperstown, the feasibility of servicing the county complex may be doable.”
Contacted in Boston, Smith said XNG’s interest in expanding into Otsego County does not hinge on whether Bassett partners with his company. He noted other large users of energy are being approached to determine if they may be interested in acquiring gas from XNG.
By converting to gas, Smith said, companies and institutions that heat their buildings with heating oil could realize savings of up to 40 percent and those that use propane could cut costs by 20 to 25 percent.
County Rep. Linda Rowinski, D-Oneonta, the chairwoman of the county’s Solid Waste and Environmental Concerns Committee, said she remained intrigued by the possibility of cutting costs by lining up a natural gas supplier such as XNG.
“Right now, we’re not prepared to move forward,” she said. “But it’s not a dead issue.”
Bassett, one of the largest consumers of energy in the region, has shown no indication that it is interested in making the conversion to gas.
“We have not responded to this particular vendor,” Bassett spokeswoman Diane Wells said when asked about the overtures from XNG.