The Chicago Transit Board approved funding that will bring solar tracking skylights and new energy efficient lighting to several Chicago Transit Authority’s bus garages, rail stations and facilities. The projects are expected to provide about $700,000 in energy savings for the CTA annually. Installation of the panels is expected to begin in spring 2009.
CTA will receive grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (CECF) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for the projects. As a stipulation for receiving the grants, CTA is providing funds for the projects also.
CECF will provide a grant for up to $250,000 for the installation of solar tracking skylights at two of the bus garages. The total cost of the project is not expected to exceed $500,000. The CTA expects the units to reduce lighting cost by at least 35 percent at each of the two locations.
In addition, DCEO will provide a grant of about $439,000 for CTA to install new energy efficient lighting and fixtures at 11 facilities and up to six rail stations. The estimated total cost of the lighting retrofit project is about $1.07 million with CTA using capital funds to make up the balance. However, the agency is expected to reap immediate benefits through savings of roughly $662,000 in annual electricity costs once the installation is completed.
Earlier this year, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced a series of sustainability initiatives.
In transportation related news, BNSF Railway executives are looking into ways of reducing air pollution after the company was criticized for elevating cancer risks for nearby residents.