Nopetro LLC, a company that designs, builds, finances, operates and maintains turn-key natural gas fueling stations, is setting about creating a network of compressed natural gas stations across the USA’s south-east, starting with a newly opened Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station in Tallahassee, Florida, last week. The company says this marks the first link in a chain leading to the first viable network of CNG fueling stations on the East Coast of the United States.
Nopetro’s plans call for construction of stations in at least 18 additional markets in Florida and Georgia, leading the way to a much broader network that currently does not exist outside of California. This network of stations will allow local governments to switch to CNG and save as much as 25 percent on their fuel costs. At the same time, the business sector will know it can move commodities on the state’s highways assured that a CNG station will be available when needed. Since America has an abundant supply of natural gas, this network will help lead the way to true energy independence.
Florida’s top energy official, Agriculture & Consumer Affairs Commissioner Adam Putnam, welcomed the opening of the Tallahassee CNG station as the first step toward a CNG station network that would lead to economic advantage for the region. When Nopetro’s network is completed, Putnam said, the private fleets of heavy freight vehicles that move Florida’s consumer goods will have a practical way to traverse the state and region fueled by CNG.
The Tallahassee facility is the product of an innovative partnership between the public and private sectors. The Leon County school district is transforming its entire fleet of diesel-powered school buses to CNG, and other public and private consumers may also fuel their CNG vehicles at the station. A portion of each sale will benefit the school district thanks to the partnership with Nopetro.
“This is truly a day worth celebrating – a big step forward in the journey toward independence from expensive foreign fuels,” said Jorge Herrera, co-founder and CEO of Nopetro, which has offices in Tallahassee and Miami. Nopetro identified 18 additional cities it is targeting over the next three years, including Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Fort Pierce, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Key Largo, Miami, Ocala, Orlando, Pensacola, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Tampa and West Palm Beach in Florida, and Atlanta, Macon and Savannah in Georgia.
This network of stations will make it possible for heavy truck traffic, local government vehicles and school buses to convert to natural gas, a fuel source that is domestically abundant and at least 25 percent cheaper and 33 percent cleaner than diesel fuel. At the start of last week (September 17), the nationwide average price of gasoline was 37 percent more expensive than natural gas and diesel was 46 percent more expensive, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
CNG is widely recognized as an ideal fuel alternative to gasoline and diesel. In addition to the fact that it is substantially cheaper and cleaner than petroleum-based fuels, the United States has one of the largest supplies of natural gas in the world.
(This article compiled using information from a Nopetro press release)