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OKLAHOMA CITY — Love’s Trillium CNG, part of the Love’s Family of Companies, is bringing more compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities across the U.S.
According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, two facilities will be in south Florida and be the only CNG locations in Miami-Dade County. The county awarded Trillium the contract under which the company will design, build and maintain the facilities, upgrade maintenance facilities, as well as procure 300 CNG buses for the county’s public transportation system.
"This is easily one of the most innovative public-private collaborations we’ve undertaken with a transit agency," said Bill Cashmareck, director of Trillium CNG. "The combination of providing buses, designing, building and maintaining the CNG systems, upgrading maintenance facilities, and constructing new fuel and wash buildings demonstrates the breadth of our services. Our goal is to simplify sustainability, meaning that we’ll take care of the details, which allows our customers, like Miami-Dade County, to focus on offering the best level of service to their customers while running on clean fuel."
The stations will serve approximately 250 Miami-Dade Country buses each.
Through a contract with New Flyer of America Inc., a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, to provide the first 300 CNG buses. The 40-foot Xcelsior CNG buses will be delivered throughout 2017 and 2018, with the possibility of more CNG buses in the future.
The Miami-Dade County Metrobus system provides service along 95 bus routes that travel 29 million miles per year throughout the county. According to county officials, the agreement will help them reach their goals of meeting the transportation needs of their customers while increasing sustainability.
"As mayor, it’s my responsibility to seek the best possible future for our children and grandchildren from both a financial and environmental perspective, and I believe compressed natural gas and renewable natural gas for our county’s buses will move us towards that goal. After much consideration and research, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and I felt Trillium CNG was the best company to help move us toward a more sustainable future and we’re pleased to partner with them," said Carlos Giménez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County.
Both locations will have separate fueling islands for the public. Construction on the first facility, located at 3300 N.W. 32 Ave., is slated to begin later this year and is expected to open in early 2018. Construction on the second station, located at 2775 S.W. 74 Ave., is scheduled to start this winter and be open by summer 2018.
Trillium will provide the fuel for both stations. A minimum of 20 percent of the energy will be from renewable natural gas, which will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions for the project. The agreement also includes CNG-related updates to existing transit maintenance, new fueling buildings, bus washes, and a 10-year operation and maintenance agreement.
Love’s Travel Stops currently operates 13 travel stops in Florida, with additional locations in Moore Haven, Bushnell and Lake Wales scheduled to open this year. Trillium operates five CNG facilities in the state, two of which they own.
Moving west, Love’s Trillium CNG will bring a fueling station to Gunnison, Colo. Gunnison County and the Gunnison Valley Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) reached an agreement with Trillium in which the company will design, own, operate and maintain the CNG facility.
"I’m pleased to see another project where the transit sector, a municipal fleet and over-the-road professional truck drivers are able to come together and move toward alternative fueling options," said Bill Cashmareck, director of natural gas for Love’s. "CNG is a great solution for vehicles and fleets of all sizes, and our project in Gunnison is a fantastic example of an entire community choosing that path."
The CNG station will be open to the public and strategically placed on U.S. Highway 50 at 508 W. Tomichi Ave. in Gunnison. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, the new station will fill a gap of nearly 300 miles between Pueblo and Grand Junction along U.S. Highway 50 without access to CNG. The station will feature two CNG pumps.
Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and the station is expected to open this summer. RNG will also be supplied to the county fleet and Gunnison Valley RTA. Funding for the project has been supplied in part by a $500,000 grant through the Colorado Energy Office.
"CEO’s ALT Fuels Colorado program helps remove the most significant barrier to natural gas fleet vehicle adoption through matching grants for publicly accessible fast-fill stations. We’re currently on course to double the number of preexisting fueling stations over the coming year. In partnership with Trillium CNG, Gunnison has shown great support for realizing this vision within their community," said Wes Maurer, Transportation Program Manager with the Colorado Energy Office.
Love’s Travel Stops operates more than 410 locations in 40 states, with 14 locations in Colorado, including a Love’s Country Store in Gunnison. Trillium operates two CNG facilities in the state.