On 25 May 2017, the board of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) unanimously authorized installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at four bus
and rail stops across the city of Philadelphia. The project is SEPTA's biggest solar initiative; when finished, it will represent one of the largest installations in the city.
The selected vendor, SunVest Solar, Inc., will finance, own, design, install, operate, and maintain the roof-mounted PV systems for 20 years. The project team includes Solar States, a Philadelphia-based solar installation and education firm. The project is a key initiative of SEPTA's recently approved second-generation sustainability program plan, SEP-TAINABLE 2020, which includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from SEPTA's operations and facilities by 20% by 2020.
“SEPTA is proud to step into a position of leadership among Philadelphia businesses in the strategic deployment of renewable energy on our system,” said SEPTA Board Chair Pasquale T. Deon. “This project thoughtfully leverages an existing asset—roof space at maintenance facilities—to make SEPTA's ongoing operations cleaner and more efficient.”
Arrays of solar panels will be installed at the following four maintenance locations, each with large flat roofs that are well suited to host a system for the 20-year period:
- Second and Wyoming (bus maintenance, print and sign shop)
- Fern Rock (rail shop for the Broad Street line)
- Callowhill (bus maintenance)
- Roberts (rail shop for regional railcars)
“SEPTA's solar project will total 3.1 MW of installed capacity—the second largest ever in the City of Philadelphia,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “The project will increase the total installed capacity of solar PV systems across the city by more than 30%.”
Full article: IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Volume 12, Number 3, September 2017