DOT Presents MARTA With $10.8 Million for Solar Canopies

ATLANTA — The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded MARTA with a $10.8 million grant under the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Grant Program.

The grant will be used to install energy-efficient solar panels at the Laredo Bus Maintenance Facility in Decatur, Ga., resulting in considerable cost-savings for MARTA and creating much-needed economic opportunities for metro Atlanta, officials said.

The TIGGER award represents “a timely and substantial contribution” to MARTA’s sustainability initiatives and continuing commitment to be innovative and cost-effective, MARTA said in a news release.

The turnkey project will provide for shade structures with integrated, grid-tied photovoltaic cells at the Laredo bus lot. The steel-and-concrete structures will cover 220 bus parking stalls, and will include translucent panels to filter sunlight. The canopies will be equipped with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to provide ample lighting for safety and maintenance activities at night. These PV panels will generate electricity equivalent to the facility’s annual electricity consumption.

“This is truly a win-win for MARTA and for the environment,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.  “It shows that MARTA is helping to lead the way to make public transportation cleaner, greener, and more energy-efficient for everyone who lives and works in Greater Atlanta.”