With the opening of the new Nopetro compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility on Friday morning – the largest in the nation – Orange County strides further towards energy sustainability.

The station is a collaboration between Nopetro, which is the largest CNG provider in Florida, Orange County and Lynx, with TECO People’s Gas also an integral partner, having brought the natural gas utility service to the project.

The station will be located at the intersection of John Young Parkway and Lynx Lane. It looks like any other gas station. But instead of regular gas, it will pump compressed natural gas, which is better for the environment.

At Friday’s ribbon cutting, Nopetro CEO Jorge Herrera said the new station won’t be paid for with taxpayer dollars, but from private funds. He spoke highly of where the country was headed in terms of energy efficiency.

“The tipping point has arrived,” Herrera said. “We’re moving to natural gas. It’s happening before our eyes here in Orlando. How do we resolve our oil problem? Daily, we use 20 million barrels of oil. We’re only producing 9 million a day. The other 11 million, we get from Saudi Arabia, Iran… but with this, we’re producing right under our own feet.”

Herrera expressed a desire to keep on moving forward with natural gas across Florida and then the rest of the region and, eventually, the entire country.

Gordon Gillette with TECO Peoples Gas said he was proud of how far they had come in terms of CNG stations.

“A few years ago, we had zero CNG stations in our system,” he said. “Today there are 50 of them.”

Gillette said members of the public would be able to fuel their vehicles at the new CNG station, too, at a second station separate from the one for Lynx buses.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said she hoped to have all LYNX buses on CNG at some point in the future.

She said that LYNX’s move toward sustainability, along with the many construction projects around the county, symbolized hope for the future to her.

“It’s proof of the transformation we’re going through,” she said. “We can make sure this is a great community for our children.”

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