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TriMet solar project complete

Transit agency expects to recover its share of project in little more than one year

TriMet's solar project at the South Terminus of the MAX Green and Yellow lines at Southwest Jackson Street is now operational. The regional transit agency expected to recoup its share of the project in electricity credits in little more than a year.

The project is an array of solar cells mounted an a metal framework where the MAX trains turn around near the souther edge of Portland State University. It will produce approximately 65,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually, offsetting energy used by site lighting and two light rail electrical system buildings. The excess energy produced will add clean energy to the Portland General Electric grid. The total energy produced is equivalent to reducing 29 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

TriMet's share of the project was $4,936, based on its 4.8 percent share of the overall Green and Yellow line project. TriMet expects a $4,800 energy credit from the project in the first year, and greater savings after that as electricity costs rise.

The total cost of the project was $366,000. Of that amount, $236,151 was offset by credits and grants, leaving a balance of $102,849. That amount was split among the funding partners for the Green and Yellow line. In addition to TriMet, they included the Federal Transit Administration, which paid 60 percent of the cost. Other sponsors include the Oregon Department of Transportation, Metro, Clackamas County and the City of Portland.

The performance of the installation can be monitored live at http://live.deckmonitoring.com/?id=tri_met_south_terminus