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Metro Unveils 1.2 Megawatt Solar Installation

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, April 27, 2009, at 04:46PM
Panel 2 Ed Fuentes

Solar panels cover the roof of Metro's expansive bus maintenance facility across from Union Station.

Officials cut a green ribbon on the largest solar installation in Los Angeles this morning. The 1.2 megawatt array is made up of 6,720 individual solar panels, and covers the expansive rooftop of Metro's 27-acre Support Services Center, located across from Union Station.

"It’s an important way for the City of Los Angeles to take another step forward to be the solar capital of the U.S," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who also serves as Metro Board Chair. "It will also save money, save energy, and create jobs."

The Support Services Center is Metro's central maintenance facility for buses. The solar install is projected to cut the facility's annual energy bill in half, from $1.1 million to $550,000.

The system cost $16.5 million, and is a public/private partnership between Metro and Chevron Energy Solutions. That cost will be offset by $6.3 million in incentives from DWP, Southern California Gas and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

In October, AEG unveiled a solar system spanning the rooftops of Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre. That system generates 512-kilowatts, roughly 43 percent of the output of Metro's new installation.

While walking among the rooftop panels, which span an area equal to five football fields, Chevon Energy Solutions Chief Operating Officer John Mahony challenged others to step up for solar installations. "Who is going to break Metro’s claim as the largest solar panel installation?"


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