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New Renewable Energy Contracts in Effect at MBTA

Posted on January 4, 2021

New contracts will significantly reduce the MBTA’s carbon footprint and save the T over $3 million per year.

Taking effect this week, two new 100% renewable energy contracts with BP Energy Company and Direct Energy LLC will reduce the MBTA’s carbon footprint and save the T over $3 million per year.

“These important investments in fully renewable energy, highlighted by the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits for the entirety of our electricity load, mean that the T has a dedicated commitment to electricity produced from renewable energy sources,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “With the beginning of these new contracts, the T continues to expand its use of renewable energy in its portfolio, and furthers its commitment to supporting sustainable transit.”

Finalized in October 2020, these contracts make the MBTA the largest transit agency in the United States to be 100% renewable and result in a significant reduction in the MBTA’s carbon footprint. Previously, approximately 36% of the MBTA’s carbon emissions came from electricity usage. As of January 1, those carbon emissions are effectively avoided.

The combined 100% renewable power contract total is approximately $12.13 million per year for a 3-year term, down from approximately $15.5 million per year during the previous 5-year contract with BP. The contracts include the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for 100% of the MBTA’s electricity load as well as provisions for providing 70% of the electricity at a fixed price. Purchasing RECs means the MBTA has purchased electricity from a renewable power source with each certificate equivalent to the generation of 1-megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity.

The MBTA has a number of additional renewable energy projects completed and currently underway. Two wind turbines in Kingston and Bridgewater help power MBTA facilities with power at both able to be sold back to the power grid. Small scale solar projects are complete at Orient Heights and Braintree Stations with solar canopy installation recently completed at 3 additional MBTA sites and more sites currently being explored. Upcoming renewable energy projects to develop include the launch of a new solar power purchase agreement, the development of solar arrays at upcoming new construction locations like the Quincy bus garage and at Riverside Station, and research into the MBTA becoming an anchor customer for upcoming offshore wind projects.

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