Leon County Schools Form "Green" Partnership
Matt Thomas just spent about $54.00 filling up his Nissan in Tallahassee. He loves the idea of saving money with a hybrid car. "I think if there were sufficient fueling, refueling plug in stations, it would be perfect," said Thomas.
He could get the chance in about a year.
Down the street from a conventional gas station on Capital Circle near Highway 20, will be a natural gas station on Leon County school property. People with natural gas cars would be able to gas up there.
However, it's coming to Tallahassee for the more than 40 natural gas only school buses they're buying.
The new buses would cost about $27,000 more than the old ones.
However, Leon County Schools superintendent Jackie Pons says, they'll save $6,000 each year, per bus.
In less than five years, they would've made back the money, then some.
The school system also says, the new buses will last about four years longer than the conventional ones.
Pons plans to gradually replace older buses with the natural gas buses each year as old ones need to be retired.
Businesses are converting too.
Steve Ghazvini owns a construction company and plans to convert some of his company's trucks to natural gas.
"In business first of all, the cost drives us to move toward different vehicles or different equipment," said Ghazvini. " Helping the environment is another big plus.
Lively Technical Center is teaching students how to convert cars to natural gas.
The school system had a brand new Ford Focus converted into a natural gas burner.
They estimate each converted car will save about $2,000 every year.
The conversion kits run around $8,000.
LCS says a converted diesal truck would save about $15,000 every year.
Groundbreaking on the facility is scheduled for January 2, 2012.
They hope to have it fully operational by August 2012.