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Budapest riding with the sun

Budapest riding with the sun

The Hungarian capital responds to the challenges of the future with solar panel-equipped bus storages

Two bus storages with solar panels installed on their roof structure were handed over in the Kelenföld Division of the Budapest Transport Privately Held Corporation (BKV) last Friday. While far from being a sensation, the event proved yet another step in the implementation of BKV's climate and energy strategy towards achieving a greener, more liveable Budapest.

Green island with a twofold purpose

The location of the project is not only practical, but also symbolic, as Kelenföld is home to BKV’s zero-emission, purely electric buses. With the latest energy-conscious investment of Budapest’s main public transport operator, the company’s bus garage in Kelenföld has become a “green island” that not only provides electric buses to the travelling public, but also generates some of their electricity needs from renewable energy sources by replacing fossil fuels.

BKV has installed solar panels with a total capacity of 200 kW on the roof structure of the two bus storages built on site. The total annual generation of electricity expected of the system is 220,000 kWh, which can meet almost 9 percent of the electricity demand of the site, including 40 percent of the electricity demand of electric buses.

In addition to the profit generated after the payback period, solar systems have important advantages – they are durable, rely on a virtually inexhaustible and clean energy source, and contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint, thus protecting the environment.  

In his speech during the handover, Tibor Bolla, CEO of BKV Zrt. emphasized that the development was taking place at the company's oldest bus site, proving that BKV which boasts a long history is able to respond to the challenges of the future.  He also presented the “masked buses” that will soon hit the roads of Budapest, drawing the attention of the travelling public to the importance of protection against the coronavirus.

Climate-friendly and cost-effective     

Mayor Gergely Karácsony, on his part, highlighted the significance of green investments as a means to reverse the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. “The stagnant economy due to the epidemic gives us an opportunity to rethink: when development resumes, how should it happen. Investments based on the green economy are important not only in terms of climate protection, but also in terms of cost-effectiveness. Similar investments can play an important role in the sustainable operation of BKV,” said the mayor, quoted by the municipal website.

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