Bus company powered by the sun

MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) has achieved another milestone in carbon savings and reduction of operating expenses. The Community Transportation Center (CTC) on Creek Road in Middlebury is now harnessing the power of the sun to provide most of its electric energy needs. The installation of the 180-panel rooftop solar system also completes the construction of the CTC. It was made possible by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration and matching donations from community supporters.
The array went live this month and is expected to generate 50,400 photovoltaic watts. ACTR anticipates a 90 percent reduction of their electric bills. “We’re proud of the steps we’ve taken to create a sustainable community resource,” said Jim Moulton, ACTR executive director. “Public transportation plays a key role in reducing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The way ACTR delivers those services is according to the best sustainability practices and standards possible.”
The new solar array was preceded by numerous other sustainable design features which minimize the CTC’s energy consumption and earned ACTR an Innovative Green Transit Initiative Award from the Federal Transit Administration in 2013: insulated walls 50 percent greater than code to minimize heat loss; a wood-pellet furnace system to maximize BTU generation and minimize carbon emissions; radiant heat in the floors to minimize energy use; extra glass elements to maximize natural light and minimize electric consumption; state of the art LED lighting with sensors and timers to reduce electric consumption; high-efficiency windows; a rainwater and snow-melt collection system to reduce municipal water usage; water-efficient plumbing fixtures; low VOC materials; and use of native plants in landscaping.
ACTR enhances the economic, social and environmental health of the region by providing community transportation services that are safe, reliable, accessible and affordable for everyone. To learn more about ACTR’s bus and Dial-A-Ride services, go to www.actr-vt.orgor call 388-2287.

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