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TriMet begins solar panel installation on light-rail lines


Today, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) will begin installing solar panels on the south terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow light-rail lines near Portland State University.

The project will be the first solar energy project installed along the agency’s 52-mile MAX system, TriMet officials said in a prepared statement.

When completed, the project will produce 67,000 kilowatts of power annually, which will help offset energy used by site lighting and two light-rail electrical systems buildings. Currently, the electrical systems have an average annual power cost of $3,680. TriMet expects to receive roughly that amount as an energy credit, agency officials said.

The project’s $370,600 cost is being funded with remaining dollars from the I-205/Portland Mall Light-Rail Project, now called the MAX Green Line. An Energy Trust of Oregon rebate is expected to cover about 35 percent of the costs. Portland General Electric also is a funding partner.

REC Solar, which has served as the project’s system and engineering resource, will install the solar modules. TriMet officials will monitor the site’s energy output and performance, and provide the data to Portland State University for research and education.

The solar panel project “furthers TriMet’s commitment to include sustainable practices in our projects and systems,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/29/2011