Officials representing Valley Metro, Ariz., cut the official ribbon to celebrate the activation of 3,500 new solar panels. With this installation, all Valley Metro maintenance facilities now rely on solar power.Â In partnership with Standard Solar and Veregy, the project began construction in June of 2019 and the panels started producing energy in May of this year.
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â€śOur region benefits when we make progress on our sustainability goals,â€ť said Valley Metro Board Chair, Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. â€śThe cost savings from this project will allow us to better serve riders while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The panels are expected to produce 2.1 million kilowatt-hours per year, equivalent to the power used by 171 homes in a single year. They are anticipated to save $35,000 a year in energy costs and more than $2 million throughout the term of the solar purchase agreement.
â€śThe installation of this project demonstrates Valley Metroâ€™s continuing commitment to a sustainable system for riders today and for future generations,â€ť said Mesa Councilmember Francisco Heredia, Valley Metro Board member. â€śThe canopies help buses to quickly cool down allowing more efficient operations and reducing fuel costs.â€ť
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The canopies provide a total of 76,000 square feet of shade coverage for buses across four separate structures. With temperatures in the shade as much as 40 degrees lower than in direct sun, buses will not have to spend time idling to cool down before service. Savings are estimated at $67,000 per year in fuel costs due to the new shade structures.
â€śWeâ€™re grateful for the opportunity to partner with Valley Metro on developing and implementing their path to a more sustainable future,â€ť said John Mitman, Veregyâ€™s director of distributed energy. â€śThis project exemplifies our partner-centric approach where customized solutions provide multi-faceted benefits, in this case a future where electric vehicle infrastructure goals are enabled by both solar and shade.â€ť
â€śWeâ€™re thrilled to put our in-house financing resources behind this important project,â€ť said Jason Feng, Standard Solarâ€™s Director of Channel Sales, Western United States. â€śWe commend Valley Metro and the areaâ€™s elected officials for seeking ways to save money while furthering the goal of protecting the environment.â€ť