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Hundreds of GAM traffic lights now run on solar power

September 11, 2019

Hundreds of traffic lights in Costa Rica’s Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) now run on clean energy.

A press release from Casa Presidencial says that 80 of 132 traffic-light systems included in the final stage of a years-long project are powered by solar panels. The remaining 52 devices are scheduled for activation by October.

That means 422 of the 474 traffic light systems in the GAM monitored by the Traffic Control Center are now powered by solar panels. 

The solar-powered intersections are located in the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago.

The project “represents a significant saving in electricity consumption,” according to Casa Presidencial. The solar panels charge batteries that also allow key intersections to continue working in the event of electrical cuts or blackouts.

Solar-powered traffic lights “represent savings in electricity of 80 percent over traditional traffic lights,” Diego Rugama, the director of the Ministry’s Traffic Lights Department, said in a previous interview with The Tico Times.

MOPT officials have said that the traffic-lights project is an important part of Costa Rica’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality.

Costa Rica hopes to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Among the country’s plans is a new GAM transportation system that runs solely on clean electricity rather than fossil fuels.

 

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