The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has begun consuming electricity generated by solar power at its Cerone Bus Maintenance and Operations Division in North San Jose, Calif.
The new High Gain Solar power plant, which was dedicated on Friday, is built by Skyline Solar and is the first grid connected solar power plant built using Skyline Solar equipment, which solves the two main barriers to solar, cost and scalability, according to the company. In return for providing a test and development site to Skyline – only a few miles from the company’s headquarters -- the VTA gains rights to all power generated by the 27-kilowatt plant, an amount of power equal to the consumption of a medium sized office building in California.
“This public-private partnership with a local solar manufacturing company illustrates how VTA is working to leverage its resources to benefit the environment and save money at the same time,” said Michael Burns, VTA’s GM. “Thanks to Skyline Solar, our first significant solar installation is now up and running and is providing VTA with clean, renewable energy and a unique learning experience.”
VTA established its Sustainability Program in 2007 in order to proactively reduce the agency’s consumption of natural resources, the creation of greenhouse gases and the generation of pollution. The new solar power plant will be another measure adding to VTA’s many efforts. By July 2009, the Sustainability Program is projected to be saving VTA $800,000 a year through energy conservation and other initiatives.