White House praises Metro solar program

Metro also has solar panels on its own facilities -- including Division 13 in DTLA. Photo: Metro.

Metro also has solar panels on its own facilities — including Division 13 in DTLA. Photo: Metro.

President Barack Obama announced an initiative this week to make solar power more accessible to American households. Metro was one of the agencies mentioned for its work on the renewable energy front:

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) commits to develop an innovative community solar program for all of its capital projects.  This aggressive new program will bring solar energy to communities throughout the LA region, and will represent a significant investment in communities and renewable energy over the near and long term. Metro is the first public transportation agency to pursue a community solar program, which builds on its success of deploying approximately 7 megawatts of renewable energy by the end of fiscal year 2017, with a goal of 66 percent renewable energy use by 2020.

What is a community solar program? It allows Metro to install solar panels on properties in communities that would otherwise not consider using renewable energy. The community benefits from enhanced property values. Property owners benefit by having access to energy outside the usual grid. And Metro benefits by claiming the renewable energy credits that can be sold or traded on energy markets and to show that the agency is complying with its renewable energy goals.

2 replies

  1. The thought occurred to me, that the Metro Buses use a lot of energy for air conditioning, and they also have a lot of surface area on top. Have you considered installing solar panels on the bus tops to help generate electricity for this purpose? Also, there may be some relevancy to the electric bus program, should that prove to be viable. Since electric traction motors supply the motive power for most trains (diesel-electric locomotives, after all, were the first hybrids), it would seem that this might be an option worth investigating for buses as well. If there is any interest in any of these possibilities, please contact me, as I could offer consultation regarding systems and cost efficiency.