Illustrated solar panel installation.
Photo credit: Valley Metro
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.