Real Goods Solar to Install 425-kW System at Bus Facility

RGS Energy, the commercial and utility division of Real Goods Solar Inc., has been selected by Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) to deploy a 425-kW elevated solar power plant at its Hayward D6 Bus Facility in Hayward, Calif.

realgoodsRGS Energy will design, install, monitor and maintain the solar power plant at the Hayward Bus Facility. The project involves the installation of a 14-ft high, 22,000-sq-ft solar bus-port canopy. The canopy will be capable of generating more than 15 million kWh over the next 25 years. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of the year and be completed by March 2014.

By harnessing energy from the sun, AC Transit expects to reduce the facility’s cost of electricity by at least $40,000 in the first year. This is expected to add up to more than $1 million over the next 25 years, while eliminating more than 24 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions or the equivalent of taking more than 2,340 cars off the road (per EPA-based data).

The solar project is funded by a grant awarded to AC Transit in 2010 by the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program, which is managed by the Federal Transit Administration’s Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation.

“AC Transit has taken significant steps over the past few years to reduce its environmental impact associated with facility energy use,” said Dennis W. Butler, AC Transit’s chief planning and development officer. “This new solar power plant will drastically reduce our Hayward facility’s grid-sourced energy consumption as well as substantially lower our operating costs. We selected RGS Energy given the complex engineering and construction required of the project, which we believe RGS Energy has the necessary experience to effectively deploy.”

Tim Seamans, RGS Energy’s general manager, commented: “Public transportation and solar are ideal partners in reducing emissions while providing long-term economic benefits. We are proud to bring 100% clean renewable solar energy to AC Transit.”

— Solar Builder magazine

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