Saving energy and keeping the subway going in icy conditions have seen a stimulus injection of $2 million into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, The Epoch Times reports.
The cash injection is to go toward a wireless heating control system on the third rail that should result in a saving of $1.6 million per year for the MTA. The system is slated to be in operation in 2012.
To date, manual activation of approximately 1,000 subway heaters has been required each year in order to prevent icing of the rail exposed at ground level. These heaters remain turned on from fall through early spring regardless of whether icing is expected, thereby generating significant energy waste.
The allocated funds will be used to install approximately 350 wireless control points that will provide New York City Transit with the ability to monitor, power on and shut off third rail heaters in response to actual weather conditions. The heaters will be regulated through remote control at a central location, leading to an estimated saving of 23,000 megawatt hours of energy.
The grant was allocated through the federal Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of public transportation systems. The project will cost $8.32 million, with the TIGGER funds used to cover part of the labor costs.