Indianapolis’ IndyGo received the final shipment of its 21 fully-electric buses and flipped the switch on a 1 Megawatt solar array, making it a transit leader in alternative energy.
"We feel it's important to push the envelope and utilize newer technologies to make our operation as efficient as possible," said IndyGo President/CEO, Mike Terry. "By leveraging federal grants for capital projects like the solar panels and the electric buses, we can make a difference to the bottom line while improving our environmental footprint."
IndyGo has become one of the largest electric transit fleets in the country with 21 fully electric buses. The Complete Coach Works (CCW) Zero Emission Propulsion Systems (ZEPS) were built on 2000 and 2001 model year diesel buses and repowered with lithium-ion batteries that reach up to 130 mile range on a single charge. The rehabbed buses use lightweight flooring, low resistance tires and energy-efficient heating and cooling to maximize performance of the batteries.
IndyGo has installed and using energy from its 1 Megawatt solar array on the roof of its eight acre operations and administrative facility on West Washington Street. IndyGo's solar roof will improve operational efficiencies and significantly reduce energy costs. It is the second largest solar array installed by an American transit operator. This investment in solar photovoltaics will produce enough power to offset the charging of 13 electric buses, lowering operational costs as well as saving energy and resources.
IndyGo is also trailblazing what could be the nation's first battery-electric bus rapid transit project. The 35-mile Red Line is planned to connect four cities, three counties, 170,000 jobs, and one in four residents in the Central Indiana region. The line would be the first of its kind stateside and would be the region's first rapid transit project. IndyGo is completing its final engineering plans for Phase 1 of the Red Line and has submitted a Federal Small Starts grant application to fund construction of this first segment.
Implementation of Phase 1 of the Red Line is dependent upon a competitive federal grant for approximately 80% of the total project cost. The Small Start grant awards will be announced in early 2016.
The solar project, electric buses, and the Red Line environmental and engineering studies were funded through competitive federal grant programs, each consisting of 80% federal share and 20% local match. The solar project was on-schedule and under budget, while the electric buses were completed ahead of schedule.