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Calif. honors AC Transit for fuel cell buses

Posted on February 8, 2013

AC Transit was presented with the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the highest environmental honor in the state of California, for its innovative fuel cell and solar energy projects.

Gov. Jerry Brown honored the agency as one of 17 organizations that have adopted clean-air business principles and policies that conserve energy, reduce costs and help to improve the environmental health of their surrounding neighborhoods.

“We celebrate the achievements of the individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated leadership and made notable contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy,” said Gov. Brown.

“Projects like these take a lot of courage and intensity to do, and we are really glad the Governor chose to recognize us,” said AC Transit Board President Greg Harper. “We are very proud of what we are doing to enhance the air quality of our local communities while significantly reducing greenhouse gases, and for being able to contribute to the development of these cutting-edge technologies.”

Specifically, AC Transit was honored for building the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell demonstration program in the country. Its zero-emission fuel cell buses emit only water vapor from their tailpipes, operate quietly and smoothly, achieve nearly double the fuel economy of conventional buses, and to date have saved more than 68,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The agency has also built the most advanced hydrogen fueling stations in the world, according to AC Transit, featuring the use of solar energy to produce a share of the hydrogen it uses to propel its buses.

In addition, the agency is installing a 400-kilowatt stationary solid oxide fuel cell system manufactured in California. Using biogas as its source of fuel, the system will provide enough green electricity to power its largest operating division.

AC Transit also installed more than 1.1 megawatts of solar power on the rooftops of its buildings and is in the process of adding another 300 kilowatts of solar power in 2013, delivering a significant portion of the power needed for the agency’s daily operations.

Established in 1993, GEELA honors individuals, companies and organizations that make significant contributions to the state by developing environmentally friendly practices while contributing to the local economy. Learn more about the awards and about AC Transit’s environmental programs.

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