RIPTA is saving money by increasing their solar power usage in 2021

Solar credits through a new solar farm in East Providence will allow the state’s transit authority to increase their clean electricity usage to 93%, and will save them $250,000 a year.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is changing the way they get their electricity.  They will soon be focusing even more on renewable energy than they already have been.  Scott Avedisian is the CEO of RIPTA.

Avedisian says, “It’s part of our overall strategy to look at different alternative fuel sources for us and how we could best use them.”

The state’s transit authority is participating in a green energy project, allowing them to buy electricity credits from a new 6,000-panel solar farm on a former brownfield site along the waterfront in East Providence.

Avedisian says, “That was of interest to me because I saw how you can take a part of a city that’s really fallen in bad times, and resurrect it and have great new purpose.  The other reason that we really liked this project was it didn’t require any clear cutting of trees.”

RIPTA continues to add electric buses to its fleet, and they’ll need to be able to charge those buses.  This new partnership gives them a chance to increase their charging capabilities while decreasing their carbon footprint.

Avedisian says, “By the time that this project is fully online, we will be at 93% at getting all of our electricity from renewable and clean sources.”

The move is also expected save RIPTA at least $250,000 a year in electricity costs.  Between RIPTA and the solar farm’s other customers, the company that built the farm says it will save about 62,000 tons of carbon emissions over the next 25 years.

Next in line for RIPTA, they’re looking at installing solar powered heating elements that would melt snow in their bus shelters in the winter so they don’t have to clear that snow using shovels or snowblowers.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2021

Categories: News, Rhode Island