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VTA Solar Parking Canopy Ready to Soak Up Sun

The bus yard in Mountain View will generate energy and provide shade for buses.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority unveiled a newly installed solar parking canopy system at one of its three bus maintenance facilities today.

The solar project will provide environmental benefits and help VTA lower its electricity costs by $2.7 million over the next 20 years, according to the agency.

The power derived from the systems will offset the electricity demand at VTA's three bus facilities. The installations include a 548-kilowatt system at the Chaboya Division, a 969-kilowatt system at the Cerone Division, and a 637- kilowatt system at the North Division facility in Mountain View at 1235 La Avenida St.

Additionally, the clean electricity generated by the systems will offset more than 2,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year which, according to the VTA, is equivalent to removing more than 9,000 cars from California's roads or planting 10,000 acres of trees over the next 20 years.

"VTA will be saving taxpayer money on energy costs while investing in a future that will benefit us all," Santa Clara County Supervisor and VTA Chair Ken Yeager said in a statement. "VTA is already combating global warming through the promotion of mass transit and congestion management. Now, we are reducing greenhouse gases through our operations, too."

The systems at the three bus maintenance divisions were installed by the VTA in partnership with SunPower Corp., Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Wells Fargo.

VTA financed the project through an agreement with SunPower, which designed, built, and now operates and maintains the solar panel systems. Wells Fargo owns the systems.

A dedication ceremony at VTA's Cerone Bus Maintenance Division Thursday at 1 p.m.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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