Chicago Transit Board Approves Green Grants to Improve CTA’s Energy Efficiency

December 4, 2008

The Chicago Transit Board today approved funding that will bring solar tracking skylights and new energy efficient lighting to several CTA bus garages, rail stations and facilities. The projects are expected to provide energy savings for the CTA amounting to approximately $700,000 annually.

CTA will receive grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (CECF) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for the projects. As a stipulation for receiving the grants, CTA is providing funds for the projects also.
"These initiatives build on the CTA’s commitment to operate in a cleaner and greener manner," said CTA President Ron Huberman. “Ultimately the upgrades will enable us to improve energy efficiency and reduce CTA utility costs thereby leading to more efficient operations and savings for the agency." 
CECF will provide a grant for up to $250,000 for the installation of solar tracking skylights at the North Park and 74th Street bus garages. The total cost of the project is not expected to exceed $500,000.
Solar tracking skylights track the sun's rays and use a reflective panel and diffuser that allows up to 400 percent more natural light into buildings than standard skylights. The CTA expects the units to reduce lighting cost by at least 35 percent at each of the two locations. 
Installation of the panels is expected to begin in spring 2009.
In addition, DCEO will provide a grant for $438,598 for CTA to install new energy efficient lighting and fixtures at 11 facilities including the 103rd, Chicago and 77th Street bus garages, South Shops facility, the central warehouse and up to six rail stations.
The estimated total cost of the lighting retrofit project is approximately $1.07 million with CTA using capital funds to make up the balance; however, the agency will reap immediate benefits through savings of approximately $662,000 in annual electricity costs once the installation is completed. 

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