Three years ago, the Pasco County Schools began research into alternative fuels in order to improve the efficiency of the county’s bus system. The School Board invested ample time researching to ensure that they would find the most effective way to run their fleet. It wasn’t until the end of 2015, where the Pasco County School Board decided to issue a Request for Qualification (RFQ) to adapt Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) into their growing bus fleet.
Integral Energy was tremendously excited at this opportunity to respond to the RFQ being that it is a company providing a wide range of natural gas services which include compressed natural gas (CNG) and alternative fuels to public, private and government entities. It was Integral Energy alongside A.D. Morgan Corporation, a local woman-owned construction company based out of Westshore Business District and Trillium CNG, a company that packages CNG equipment that formed a team and together replied to the RFQ. This team was awarded the design-build project and this past October, the Pasco County Schools approved the funding for the $3.3M CNG Facility.
By completely funding this project, Pasco County will become the first school district in the state of Florida to own and operate a CNG fueling facility. Additionally, construction will begin in December, with equipment delivery scheduled for March. The district will begin with 25 CNG buses that will be ready for use by May 2017. The brand-new facility will include both CNG equipment as well as diesel equipment for Pasco County’s transitioning fleet. Eventually the Pasco County School System will transition its entire bus fleet over the next four/five years where all 125 buses will run solely on CNG.
Clearwater Gas will be providing the natural gas for the station and Duke Energy serves as the electricity provider. Clearwater Gas has remained a huge advocate for the use of CNG vehicles; often providing guidance by sharing their experiences with selecting contractors and technology. The Clearwater Gas has remained a pioneer with its creation of the first publicly owned CNG station in the state of Florida in 2011. It has set the stage and proven to demonstrate the benefits of CNG vehicles monetarily as well as for the community and its environment.
With that being said, there is expected to be significant cost-savings over time. Based off of observations over the last four/five years, savings have been seen anywhere from 30- 50% on the cost of fuel itself. Additionally, traditional buses are replaced after every 10 years, however, natural gas fueled buses are predicted to maintain a longer life span of 13 to 15 years, leading to more cost efficiencies. Furthermore, on a macro-level, the Pasco County Schools will be serving its community by providing cleaner solutions with 20-25% less greenhouse gases in comparison to diesel, which in turn, reduces its carbon footprint.
Not only is Pasco County bettering the community and its environment, but also is saving monetarily. The Pasco County Schools has taken advantage of the State of Florida’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program through the Commission of Agriculture’s office. It is estimated that this rebate program could provide the school district with a return of up to $25,000 per bus, not exceeding $250,000 per year. Anddrikk Frazier, Managing Partner at Integral Energy was fortunate to play a role in the inception of the State of Florida’s Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program during his time working at TECO Energy. Anddrikk maintains nearly 20 years of experience with power production, project management, station construction, natural gas, and business development. Anddrikk Frazier shares his enthusiasm for the project and states,
“I cannot express how excited I am for the Pasco County Schools, their Administration, Students and community. Being the first School System in the State of Florida to actually own and operate their very own CNG Facility is groundbreaking, trendsetting and visionary. There will be a lot of eyes on this project across the country and Integral Energy is humbled to be a part of this environmentally sustainable project!”
Ultimately, this project is the beginning of a movement that Integral Energy hopes will spread throughout the region as well as inspire other counties and states nationwide to invest in alternative resources such as CNG.
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.