- Austin’s regional public transit provider, CapMetro, will gain support for its electric bus fleet via solar canopies.
- These canopies will provide renewable energy and also act as a mounting structure for hands-free, overhead charging.
- This project is being made possible with a collaboration between HOLT Renewables and bp pulse.
HOLT Renewables, in partnership with bp pulse, has exciting plans to revolutionize Austin’s public transportation system. CapMetro, the regional provider, will soon benefit from a groundbreaking solar-powered charging infrastructure. This project, valued at $34 million, will support the largest procurement of battery electric transit buses in the United States, totaling approximately 200 zero-emissions vehicles.
How Austin’s Solar-Powered Charging Infrastructure Will Work
HOLT Renewables will construct a large, 12-acre photovoltaic canopy system composed of over 7,000 panels. This innovative solar array will produce renewable energy while also serving as a hands-free overhead charging infrastructure for more than 200 buses. The project will also feature the country’s largest deployment of pantograph depot chargers, which seamlessly connect to the vehicles’ batteries.
To ensure the project’s success, bp pulse will oversee the installation of their patent-pending mounting system, PIDE. This innovative solution enables the integration of pantograph charging with solar canopies, overcoming the challenge of uneven surfaces and facilitating wide-scale adoption of combined solar and EV charging. Bp pulse is the UK’s market leader for rapid and ultra-fast charging, all under the larger BP umbrella.
Supporting a Zero-Emissions Fleet
CapMetro’s commitment to a zero-emissions bus fleet by 2035 is driving this ambitious infrastructure project. The North Operations bus yard will host the state-of-the-art charging system, and construction is scheduled to commence in October 2023.
David Carr, CapMetro’s Director of Zero-Emissions Vehicles, expressed excitement about the project, noting its status as one of the largest deployments of pantograph bus chargers in North America and its potential to foster a healthier Austin.
CapMetro’s President and CEO, Dottie Watkins, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative. “This project will be a gamechanger for our agency. We’ll be able to get more of our zero-emissions buses out on the road to provide a quieter and more comfortable ride for our customers,” she said. “We look forward to this partnership with HOLT Renewables as we continue to expand our sustainability efforts across the Central Texas region.”
Aaron Arriaga, a commercial project developer at HOLT Renewables, acknowledged the project’s unique challenges. However, he expressed confidence in the engineering and construction teams’ ability to bring the cutting-edge design and overhead charging integration to life. “Through innovative design and the use of onsite solar canopies, we will deliver a solution that will not only provide the energy needed to power an electric fleet but will also reduce the carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future for Austin.”
SOURCE | IMAGES: HOLT RENEWABLES
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