AC Transit Gets State’s Highest Environmental Award
Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Solar Initiatives
Singled Out for Praise
For its innovative fuel cell and solar energy projects, AC Transit has been given the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the highest environmental honor in the state of California.
Governor Jerry Brown honored AC Transit as one of 17 organizations that have adopted clean-air business principles and policies that conserve energy, reduce costs and help to improve the environmental health of their surrounding neighborhoods. “We celebrate the achievements of the individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated leadership and made notable contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy,” noted the Governor.
“Projects like these take a lot of courage and intensity to do, and we are really glad the Governor chose to recognize us,” said AC Transit Board President Greg Harper. “We are very proud of what we are doing to enhance the air quality of our local communities while significantly reducing greenhouse gases, and for being able to contribute to the development of these cutting-edge technologies.”
Specifically, AC Transit was honored for building the most comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell demonstration program in the country. Its zero-emission fuel cell buses emit only water vapor from their tailpipes, operate quietly and smoothly, achieve nearly double the fuel economy of conventional buses, and to date have saved more than 68,000 gallons of diesel fuel. AC Transit has also built the most advanced hydrogen fueling stations in the world, featuring the use of solar energy to produce a share of the hydrogen it uses to propel its buses.
In addition, the agency is installing a 400-kilowatt stationary solid oxide fuel cell system manufactured in California. Using biogas as its source of fuel, the system will provide enough green electricity to power its largest operating division. Additionally, AC Transit has installed more than 1.1 megawatts of solar power on the rooftops of its buildings and is in the process of adding another 300 kilowatts of solar in 2013, delivering a significant portion of the power needed for the agency’s daily operations.
“The award recognizes our responsibility to create a sustainable environment while promoting a vibrant economy,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matt Rodriquez. “ [AC Transit is] showing us the way forward. Their unique approach shows how, given a challenge, California’s businesses, non-profit organizations and governments can rise to the occasion.”
Established in 1993, GEELA honors individuals, companies and organizations that make significant contributions to the state by developing environmentally friendly practices while contributing to the local economy. Learn more about the awards and about AC Transit’s environmental programs.