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Thu, Oct 27, 2016

Solar Energy to Power Transit Facility

The East Valley Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Tempe will soon be soaking up the sun as crews work to complete a 537 kW solar project that will provide 33 percent of its power needs. When completed, Tempe will be 1.5 percent closer to reaching its 20 percent renewable energy goal, with 8 percent of the city’s operations powered by renewable energy.

The project, which will be complete in early November, features include:

  • 1,704 solar modules installed atop existing bus ports
  • First year energy production of nearly 831,500 kWh
  • Savings of more than $411,000 in utility costs over 20 years
  • Increases the city’s overall renewable energy use from 6.5 percent to 8 percent

    “This project brings together two of the city’s main energy conservation and sustainability efforts, combining a public transit facility with solar energy production,” said Tempe Mayor and Valley Metro RPTA Board Member Mark Mitchell. “The EVBOM solar installation furthers Tempe’s ongoing commitment to the environment, reducing pollution with clean energy use while saving money.”

    The solar panels will produce 831,445 kWh of energy in the first year, reducing carbon emissions by more than 580 metric tons – equivalent to taking 123 vehicles off the road each year.

    EVBOM solar panels

    Tempe’s renewable energy commitment

    In June 2014, the City of Tempe approved a goal to power 20 percent of city operations with clean energy by 2025. This goal is an important component of Tempe’s long-term asset management strategy to reduce the city’s overall energy use and utility costs. The city is currently at 6 percent, marking significant progress since the goal was adopted. The addition of the EVBOM solar project will bring the city to 8 percent. Tempe’s existing solar projects include:

      Police/Courts building in downtown Tempe – 263 kW system; provides 12 percent of the building’s energy needs; 20-year savings of $145,800.
      South Water Treatment Plant – 924 kW system; produces 15 percent of the plant’s energy; 20-year savings of $2.3 million.
      Library Complex – 800 kW system; provides 30 percent of the complex’s energy needs; 20-year savings of $95,000.
      Kiwanis Recreation Center – 372 kW system; produces 30 percent of the center’s energy needs; 20-year savings of more than $115,000.


    Tempe will begin construction on its next solar project at the Johnny G. Martinez Water Treatment Plant in early December. For more information about this project and all of Tempe’s solar efforts, visit

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