A $2.5 million dollar grant from the Florida Renewable Energy Grants Program will allow Central Florida’s public bus system, Lynx, to power its 290 diesel-powered buses with a blend of petro-diesel and biodiesel. The funds will be used to construct a blending station to produce a fuel comprised of 80 percent regular diesel and 20 percent organically derived oil. The blending process will reduce Lynx’s consumption of diesel fuel by 800,000 gallons annually. “I think it’s important to diversify our fuels,” said Lori Cunniff, director of Orange County’s Environmental Protection Division. “Anything that goes away from petroleum fuels is a good choice.”

Once the blending station goes into operation in early 2009, Lynx will become the first transit authority in the U.S. to produce biodiesel fuel for its own fleet. In minimizing the use of fossil fuels in its buses, the agency supports Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s statewide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent by 2012.