CCRTA Solar Projects to Reduce Carbon Footprint, Increase Savings

HYANNIS – The Cape Cod Regional Transportation Authority is working to reduce its carbon footprint with solar projects.

The transportation agency recently completed a 208 kilowatt solar project at its South Dennis Operations Center.

The transit authority entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with Solect Energy for the installation of 520 rooftop solar panels at the 20,000 square-foot facility.

Construction also gets underway this week on another solar installation at the authority’s Hyannis Transportation Center.

“We are going to have 18 solar canopies and we are going to move the existing bus bays over perpendicular to the tracks on the other side,” said Tom Cahir, the CCRTA administrator.

The Hyannis project is expected to be completed in the spring.

“All of this is exciting because it’s going to result in considerable savings,” Cahir said. “There is going to be a real energy savings in the cost of what we are doing, as well as showing the outside world we are concerned about the carbon footprint and the like.”

The South Dennis installation is estimated to save $20,000 a year for the next two decades.

The authority has also recently acquired a fleet of smaller vehicles that more than double its average miles per gallon.

A wind turbine was also installed at the Operations Center in 2010 to supplement the power consumption.

The combined output from the energy generated by the wind turbine and the rooftop solar array will offset 94 percent of the operations center’s energy demand.

“There has been a real emphasis and focus on the greening of transit and all the talk about climate change and the fuel that transit uses,” Cahir said. “So we’ve tried to be very conscientious about these issues and decisions over the last few years.”

The CCRTA is one of 15 Regional Transit Authorities within Massachusetts and has been providing public transportation services since 1976 for residents and visitors in all 15 Cape Cod communities.

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