May 10: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

2005:  The installation of solar panels at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Tranpsortation Authority‘s Division 15 in Sun Valley and Division 8 in Chatsworth is complete.

The 1,638-panel installation is the 20th-largest green energy-producing installation ever built in the United States and the largest at a U.S. transit property to date.

The panels are predicted to produce up to 425 kilowatts of power at peak, saving Metro up to $150,000 per year in electricity costs.

Based on a yearly energy consumption cycle, the installations will produce average savings of 20% of the total energy needs of each division.

The shade produced by the panels, which cover about 70% of each roof’s surface area, is also expected to reduce heating and cooling costs, and prolong the life of the roof itself.

The panels cost $1.5 million per division to fabricate and install, but Southern California Gas Company provides rebates for half of that cost.

The rebates mean that the solar panel investment should pay off in 7 to 10 years, providing large future savings for Metro.

Additional information regarding the project can be found in the February 3, 2005 issue of the MyMetro employee news digest.