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Press Releases

Thu, Apr 16, 2015

Marking Earth Day with New Solar Plant

PHOENIX, AZ – Valley Metro has chosen April 22–Earth Day–as the kick off day to begin powering the Valley Metro Rail Operations & Maintenance Center using solar power. The new solar plant, which comprises 2,800 solar voltaic panels spanning 1.15 acres, is mounted at ground-level and on parking lot shade canopies. It’s capable of generating 1.3 million Kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy savings annually, or enough electricity to power 123 homes.

“From reducing greenhouse gases to improving fuel usage, we are proud to be involved in a variety of initiatives to protect and preserve our environment,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO. “Solar energy is a principal addition to our growing sustainability efforts.” Solar power is added to a menu of existing sustainable programs that Valley Metro practices each day including a large fleet of alternatively fueled bus and trains.

OMC Solar Plant

Valley Metro received a Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas & Emissions Reduction (TIGGER) federal grant to help fund construction and installation of the solar photovoltaic system. Additional funding was received through the APS Schools and Government Incentive program. To date, the APS program has helped more than 32 government agencies, 300 schools and 70 school districts install solar energy.

“This innovative project represents a dynamic way to bring sustainable, emission free energy solutions that will benefit Valley Metro’s customers and the greater Phoenix community,” said Rex Stepp, Renewable Energy Program Leader for APS. “Working with Valley Metro will enable everyone to continue to work together as we collectively build a sustainable energy future for Arizona and advance Arizona’s solar leadership.”

Last week, Valley Metro received Bronze level status in the American Public Transportation Authority’s (APTA) Sustainability Commitment on the basis of making sustainability a part of the agency’s strategic objectives, developing an awareness program and establishing a sustainability inventory. The new solar facility is a vital part of the agency’s overall commitment to sustainability. Valley Metro is one of eight systems across the country to earn this esteemed distinction.

“Congratulations to Valley Metro for receiving Bronze status in the APTA Sustainability Commitment Program,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy.” Valley Metro is being recognized for its strong organizational commitment to improving sustainability, for significant progress in water reduction efforts in an arid environment, and for its innovation that led to saving energy in air conditioning on buses.”

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 2014, total ridership for the system was 72 million passengers. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008. Eight rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-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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