May 26, 2017
People are less than thrilled to hear about the SEPTA fare hikes headed for riders this summer, but the SEPTA board just approved an initiative sure to please the environmentally minded: solar panels at four SEPTA locations.
The solar photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into electricity and will be placed at four bus and rail shops. Though four may seem like a paltry sum considering the wide and sprawling mass of SEPTA locations, it will represent one of the biggest solar panel installations in the city once completed.
“SEPTA’s solar project will total 3.1 megawatts of installed capacity, the second largest ever in the City of Philadelphia,” SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel said in a statement.
The installation locations include the bus maintenance and shop at Second and Wyoming, the Broad Street Line rail shop at Fern Rock, the Callowhill bus maintenance site and the Regional Rail car rail shop at Roberts. The locations are reportedly well-suited for panel installation thanks to their large, flat roofs.
The panels will be financed and installed by SunVest Solar. The project is one piece of SEPTA’s Sustainability Program Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from SEPTA by 20 percent by 2020.
In recent years, SEPTA has also tried to implement more LED lighting and hybrid-electric buses as part of the plan.