RIPTA buses receive solar panels to improve energy efficiency

Published Date
April 2020
Ripta Bus
RIPTA buses have receive solar panels

RIPTA buses are now receiving a little boost from sun!

Most riders won’t notice it from where they are standing, but RIPTA has installed solar panels on all 33 of its 2019 diesel fleet.

While the solar panels are not designed to make the buses go, they help power many of the vehicles’ auxiliary systems, such as ignition, GPS, automated stop announcements and lighting. This in turn reduces strain on the battery and can keep these systems live even when the engine is not running. Over the lifetime of the bus, the solar panels are expected to extend the life of the alternator, a vital engine component necessary for generating electricity. eNow Inc. supplied the 310-watt solar auxiliary panels and panel systems.

The pilot project was funded in part by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation which contributed a renewable energy grant of $42,800 that covered about two thirds of the cost. Read more about the project here.

This is not RIPTA’s only foray into clean energy. In 2018, it leased three electric buses for testing and plans to purchase several more starting in 2021.