Santa Clara Valley Transit - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, Solar  -  January 31, 2022

Santa Clara Valley Receives Solar+Storage Microgrid with EV Bus Charging

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) announced Jan. 27 that it will soon be installing a renewable energy microgrid and EV charging system to support its transition to a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2036.

The microgrid and fleet charging system will be installed by Proterra and Scale Microgrid Solutions using a grant awarded to the project by the California Energy Commission. The microgrid will provide back-up power to VTA’s Cerone bus yard so that the agency can continue to operate its electric buses in the case of a power outage.

The installation will include 1.5 MW of solar generation capacity on the rooftop of the bus yard and overhead carport canopy, as well as 4 MW of battery storage capacity. The agency will also install two 1.5 MW fleet chargers to support 34 electric transit buses.

“This project combines several VTA goals,” Adam Burger, senior transportation planner with VTA, said in a statement. “It shifts us toward greener sources of energy, saves VTA money that can be reallocated to other operating needs and provides the infrastructure to charge our next batch of zero-emission buses. Our riders will benefit from a newer, quieter fleet and we will decrease our contribution toward climate change and poor air quality.”

VTA will continue to purchase supplemental power from its utility PG&E during off-peak times while saving on energy costs by deploying solar energy stored in the microgrid during peak price periods.

The project is expected to come online in late 2023.

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