Mountain View Voice

News - February 10, 2012

MV bus yard goes solar

by Daniel DeBolt

The Valley Transportation Authority just completed a major solar panel installation at three bus maintenance yards, including its Mountain View yard on La Avenida Street. The reduction in greenhouse gases from the project will be equal to taking 9,000 cars off the road every year, the VTA reports.

In a "power purchase" agreement with panel manufacturer SunPower and Wells Fargo, the VTA did not have to buy or lease the panels, but is buying the electricity produced by the 2.1-megawatt system at rates expected to save the VTA $2.7 million over 20 years. The 5,070 panels will entirely offset the energy use of the three maintenance yards, while providing shade for buses.

"VTA will be saving taxpayer money on energy costs while investing in a future that will benefit us all," said Ken Yeager Santa Clara County Supervisor and VTA Chair. "VTA is already combating global warming through the promotion of mass transit and congestion management. Now, we are reducing greenhouse gases through our operations, too."

The 637-kilowatt system in the parking lot of VTA's Mountain View bus maintenance yard was built along with similar installations at VTA's Cerone and Chaboya divisions in San Jose, removing the same amount of greenhouse gases over the next 20 years as planting 10,000 acres of trees, the VTA reports.

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