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Wed, Apr 2, 2014

Solar Project Begins at Light Rail Facility

PHOENIX, AZ – Installation of a solar plant capable of generating 780 kW of energy annually while reducing greenhouse gas emissions will begin at the Valley Metro light rail operations and maintenance facility in Phoenix. Award of the design-build construction contract to Natural Power and Energy, LLC was recently approved by the Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors.

“Adding solar as an energy source expands our menu of daily sustainable practices at Valley Metro, which includes low-emissions fleet and water reclamation systems,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “We constantly strive to be a watchful consumer of energy and appreciate that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is supporting our entrance into solar power utilization.”

It is estimated to save the agency approximately 16 percent ($100,000 average per year) of the energy consumption at the facility where light rail vehicles are serviced.

Valley Metro was awarded a $2.7 million federal grant through the FTA Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas & Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program for construction and installation of the solar photo-voltaic plant. Additional funding was received through the APS Schools and Government Incentive program that provides $85,000 per year in Renewable Energy Credits for 20 years up to 40 percent ($1.36 million) of the total project cost.

Valley Metro Rail Board approved award of the contract on March 20 to Natural Power and Energy, LLC at $2,875,000. The system should be operational in fall 2014.

The 780 kW facility will produce 1.19 M kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, or enough electricity for 100 homes per year.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2013, total ridership for the system was 73.4 million passengers, which set a new record for bus and light rail boardings. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008. Seven light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 60-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.




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