L.A. Metro completes transit solar panel installation

Posted on April 27, 2009

[IMAGE]METRO-solar-panels-full.jpg[/IMAGE]The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) unveiled a groundbreaking energy efficiency and renewable power project with the installation of the nation’s largest solar panel system at a transit facility. It is also the largest solar panel installation within the City of Los Angeles.


The project is a Public-Private partnership between Metro and Chevron Energy Solutions. The $16.5 million project will receive about $6.3 million in incentives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Gas Co., (SoCalGas) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. 


The 6,720 individual solar panels at Metro’s Support Services Center in downtown Los Angeles — Metro’s central maintenance facility for buses — will generate 1.2 megawatt, or 1,200 kilowatts of renewable, emission-free power. Along with other energy-efficient improvements, the project is expected to cut the facility’s annual $1.1 million energy bill in half to approximately $550,000.


Metro will reduce its purchase of utility power, which is anticipated to reduce carbon emissions by more than 3,700 metric tons, equivalent to planting more than 550 acres of trees and taking more than 600 cars off the road.


“Los Angeles is now one step closer to becoming the solar capital of the United States," said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa. "Today's unveiling of the city's largest solar-powered facility will not only generate clean, renewable energy, but will provide the kinds of green jobs that this economy so desperately needs."


California-based Chevron Energy Solutions, which designed and installed the solar photovoltaic system, will provide long-term oversight of the facility’s solar panel array and related new equipment and, in addition, will guarantee the energy savings and the level of energy generated by the solar panel array for the next 10 years.


Other energy conservation measures at the facility include the installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, compressed air systems, and the replacement of about 4,000 lighting fixtures, all controlled by a state-of-the-art energy management system.


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