Austin public buses to get solar boost
Public transit agency Capital Metro is aiming to power its clean buses with clean energy.
Driving the news: CapMetro will spend $34 million to build solar panel canopies that will produce renewable energy to power its growing electric bus fleet, agency officials announced this week.
Flashback: In 2021, the CapMetro board approved the $255 million purchase of 197 electric buses as part of a commitment to cut down on emissions.
- This new charging project will be able to charge more than 200 electric vehicles, but will not have the capacity to charge CapMetro's entire future electric fleet in coming decades, per agency officials.
Details: Austin-based Holt Renewables will design and construct the photovoltaic system, which will span 12 acres with over 7,000 panels.
- The new project will be located at CapMetro's North Operations bus yard, at 9315 McNeil Road, near the intersection of Burnet Road and U.S. 183.
- Construction is scheduled to begin in October.
The big picture: As heavy polluters, notorious for their exhaust, buses are getting a makeover.
- Last fall, the Austin ISD board committed to moving to an all-electric bus fleet by 2035.
- Fuel-wise, the electric variety can be as much as a third cheaper to operate than their diesel counterparts.
The bottom line: "We'll be able to get more of our zero-emissions buses out on the road to provide a quieter and more comfortable ride for our customers,” Dottie Watkins, president and CEO of CapMetro, said in a statement.
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