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2/24/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

TriMet solar system now operational on MAX Green, Yellow lines


The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) has completed a project to implement solar power at the south terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines.

Located near Portland State University, the solar project is the largest in downtown Portland and a first for the MAX light-rail system, TriMet officials said in a prepared statement.

The system will produce about 65,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, which will offset energy used by site lighting and two light-rail electrical system buildings, they said. The excess energy produced will add “clean energy” to Portland General Electric’s grid. The total energy produced is equivalent to reducing 29 tons of carbon dioxide per year, TriMet officials estimate.

Projected costs savings in the first year would be $4,880, based on 2011 rates. Over the 25-year-plus life of the solar system, TriMet will earn more than 25 times its initial investment, agency officials said.

“Since MAX trains are all-electric vehicles, we want the electricity they run on to be as clean and local as possible,” said Dan Blocher, executive director of TriMet’s capital projects division. “This solar system leads in the right direction for the future of TriMet and the region.”



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