Sustainability

Chicago Transit to improve energy efficiency

Posted on December 5, 2008

The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) board approved funding for solar tracking skylights and new energy efficient lighting at several CTA bus garages, rail stations and facilities. The projects are expected to provide energy savings for the CTA amounting to approximately $700,000 annually.

CTA will receive grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (CECF) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for the projects. As a stipulation for receiving the grants, CTA is providing funds for the projects also.

CECF will provide a grant for up to $250,000 for the installation of solar tracking skylights, which track the sun's rays and use a reflective panel and diffuser that allows up to 400 percent more natural light into buildings than standard skylights, at two bus garages. The total cost of the project is not expected to exceed $500,000.

Installation of the panels is expected to begin in spring 2009.

In addition, DCEO will provide a grant for $438,598 for CTA to install new energy efficient lighting and fixtures at 11 facilities.

The estimated total cost of the lighting retrofit project is approximately $1.07 million with CTA using capital funds to make up the balance; however, the agency will reap immediate benefits through savings of approximately $662,000 in annual electricity costs once the installation is completed.

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