Lee's Summit R-7 School District in Kansas City received the Outstanding CNG Fleet & Station Program from natural gas advocate NGVAmerica for implementing 106 of the alt-fuel school buses into its fleet and opening a fueling station last fall.
The award was one of 12 presented Wednesday by NGVAmerica President Matthew Godlewski and Clean Vehicle Education Foundation President Doug Horne at the 2014 NGV North America Conference & Expo. The expo was held at the Kansas City Convention Center, which also hosted the NAPT Summit and NASDPTS Annual Meeting this week.
Lee's Summit R-7 and others were recognized for being early adopters and for "outstanding leadership, vision and innovation to advance natural gas as a vehicle fuel."
"The NGV Achievement Awards provide an important opportunity to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of our industry's leaders," said Godlewski. "The vision and hard work of this year's recipients is growing the NGV industry and is helping others to realize the economic and environmental benefits of using domestic natural gas as a transportation fuel."
Lee's Summit operates CNG-powered Saf-T-Liner HDX buses from Thomas Built Buses, and the manufacturer said the district's CNG fleet is one of the largest in the nation so far. The district operates a total of 150 school buses — 70 percent of which are now CNG. The district told STN that it hopes to transition to a full CNG fleet within the next couple of years. Lee's Summit completed its CNG fill station last November as part of the district's Lease Purchase Initiatives, a 10-year-project, which will save taxpayer dollars and create funding for technology that will benefit all district schools. The initiative is estimated to save R-7 a total of $28.3 million. The fill station also provides the school district with an additional source of revenue, as it will receive a royalty on retail sales of CNG.
It is one of two CNG stations in Kansas City on the Missouri side of the border.
Meanwhile, Utah-based Questar Fueling opened another CNG fast-fill station located about 15 minutes from the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Kansas. It is also open for public use to passenger vehicles, but the Natural Gas Vehicle Conference & Expo reported yesterday that Questar if focusing on the Class 8 truck and bus markets.
According to NGT News, that fast-fill CNG station is currently selling at a retail price of $1.99/GGE, the amount of alternative fuel it takes to equal the energy content of one liquid gallon of gasoline. The fueling station is also equipped with three 250 hp compressors with room for a fourth.