Plans under way for CNG vehicles in Owasso

OWASSO, Okla. - A new partnership is in the works to bring compressed natural gas to city vehicles in Owasso. The plans will make CNG more accessible to citizens too.

"Unfortunately it's not readily available, and we could probably use it right here," said Dan Lehner, who lives in Owasso.

The city started a "go green" initiative about a year ago, hoping to lead the way in alternative energy use.

Now plans are underway to construct a CNG station on or near Main Street, in addition to converting up to 50 city vehicles to CNG.

"CNG vehicles have pretty well proven themselves historically as being a very good form of fuel," said Larry White, director of support services with the city.

White says a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will kickstart the process. $300,000 from the private sector has also been donated. Officials say it's a move that could save big in the long run.

"The CNG engine usually gives you the longer life of the engine, has the same consumption, usually gets you the equivalent of CNG gallon to gasoline, and is much more environmentally friendly," White said.

Owasso's CNG filling station will be open for public use-- and it could have a nostalgic twist. Plans call for building a replica of a filling station the city used back in the 1920's.

"Well I think it's going to be great," White said. 'I'm really excited to see this move forward, I think it will be a good service to the community as well as providing great savings to the city."

Bids for the project will be reviewed by the city in about a month. No date has been set yet to begin construction on the filling station or to begin converting city vehicles.

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