Sacramento International Airport took another step this month in its effort to transition its operations to clean energy use, winning a federal grant for a fleet of electric shuttle buses.
The $2 million grant will pay half the cost of five shuttle buses and charging stations. The Proterra buses will go into operation next year, taking fliers between parking lots, terminals and car rental facilities.
The airport also plans to open a large on-site solar farm this year which will produce up to one-third of the facility’s electrical needs, officials said.
The buses and solar facility will reduce airport costs and lighten the airport’s environmental footprint, officials said. The solar farm is expected to save $850,000 a year.
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The new buses will supplement the airport’s existing fleet, which runs on compressed natural gas. “In the long run, it is much more economical to run electric vehicles, and at the same time we are not contributing to greenhouse gas emissions,” spokeswoman Laurie Slothower said.
Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui said the move is part of a bigger effort in Sacramento to build infrastructure that also protects the environment.
“This is part of ongoing efforts at the airport and across our entire community to invest in clean transportation and make Sacramento a hub of travel and commerce,” Matsui said in an emailed statement to The Bee. “ I commend the airport for working to implement next-generation technology and embracing innovative transportation solutions in our region.”