TALLAHASSEE, FL - Through a public-private partnership, Leon County Schools and natural gas company Nopetro is building a publicly available CNG station that will allow the school district and other local public and private entities the ability to purchase natural gas vehicles.
Jorge Herrera, CEO of Nopetro, told GF that Florida State University, Leon County, the City of Tallahassee, and the Florida Department of Transportation have expressed interest in using the facility.
The Florida-based NoPetro will build and operate the facility, while the school district will benefit from royalty payments from private sector sales, according to a release from the company. The district hopes investing in natural gas vehicles will free up money for education through reduced fuel costs.
Leon County Superintendent of Schools Jackie Pons said the district will transition 44 buses to CNG by the time the station opens and hopes to transition the entire fleet to natural gas within five to 10 years. Expected completion date is August.
Construction kicked off on Feb. 7. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center, the nearest CNG fueling station to Tallahassee is in Greenville, Ala., 173 miles away.
Over the next few years, Nopetro has plans to open fueling stations at numerous locations throughout the state. Okaloosa County and the City of Pensacola have expressed interest in building their own fueling stations, Herrera said.