Wednesday, November 30, 2011

TriMet starts work on MAX solar project

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TriMet on Tuesday began installing solar panels at the South Terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at SW Jackson Street, near Portland State University (Ore). The agency says that, when completed, the site will be the first solar energy project utilized along TriMet's 52-mile MAX light rail system.

trimet_logo_2009.jpgTriMet says the site is expected toproduce approximately 65,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, offsetting energy used by site lighting and two light rail electrical system buildings. The excess energy produced will add clean energy to the Portland General Electric grid. This clean energy is equivalent to reducing 50 tons of carbon dioxide per year or the equivalent of the CO2 capture of an existing 19-acre urban forest.

Critics of the project say the return on investment does not justify the cost. The project’s cost is $370,000, with TriMet anticipating to generate only $3,680 annually in energy credits.