Murray-Calloway County Transit pushes for solar panels
A local transportation company looks to go greener, which could mean more green in your pocket. Murray-Calloway County Transit plans to apply for grants to install more solar panels.
The executive director says the bulk of electricity costs are administrative: $600 to $700 per month. The transportation company already uses some panels and believes 40 more could offset those costs.
For Murray State Sophomore Devonna Snyder, cost-effective commuting means walking. She says as a freshman she would try to take the bus, but the buses did not cycle through. She says before college she would take the bus everywhere, but the problem with buses at school is that the stops are infrequent and too far apart.
"As a female, I didn’t always feel comfortable walking down to the stadium, like I don’t know where the buses are," Snyder says.
Murray-Calloway Transit Executive Director Bjarne Hansen wants to change with solar panels. Hansen says more energy dollars from the solar panels will help them shift that money into areas that need more transportation.
There are three out of 11 stops with these solar panels that create all of the electricity needed to light them.
Hansen says not worrying about the bill to power their administrative building could mean more buses, routes, and increased safety and security for riders.
"We could make a huge impact from what we do with administrative, with what we can do outside of that, to provide more transportation in the region," Hansen said.
For Devonna this would mean an easier and safer way around campus and her town.
Hansen says the transit system is funded through city and state general funds, as well as federal grants. He says solar panels could help save on that money as well.
As for how soon the transit system could see the solar panels, Hansen said it will be a continuous process and could take several months.
The transit system could also start selling some of energy back to the Tennessee Valley Authority at 2 cents per kilowatt hour.