MBTA Awarded the New England Environmental Business Council’s Climate Change Project of the Year
Posted on June 11, 2021
The MBTA received the prestigious 2021 New England Environmental Business Council (EBC) Award for Climate Change Project of the Year at their virtual awards program yesterday, recognizing its efforts to purchase renewable energy and reduce its carbon footprint. The MBTA worked with its power supply advisor Energy New England and counsel KP Law to negotiate a three-year renewable purchase from BP Energy Company and Direct Energy LLC in October 2020 that will provide these benefits to the MBTA and its ridership from 2021 through 2023.
The MBTA committed to buying Renewable Energy Credits for 100% of its electricity consumption and 70% of its energy in tailored monthly volumes at a fixed price. It did so while reducing its cost by more than $3 million annually compared to its prior five-year energy contract, which did not include renewable attributes.
The EBC Awards are presented to “those who have made significant impacts in either environmental management, climate change, or energy resources and management. These awards were established by the EBC to encourage companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and environmental professionals to continue serving as models for others to further emulate the missions and objectives of the EBC.”
“We are honored to receive the Climate Change Project of the Year Award from the EBC. I want to congratulate the MBTA’s Environmental team for their great work,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “With 100% of the T’s electricity load coming from fully renewable energy sources as of January 1, 2021, the MBTA continues to expand the use of renewable energy in our portfolio, and continues our commitment to sustainable transit.”
“ENE is pleased to help the MBTA pursue its environmental management and power procurement strategies,” said ENE President and CEO John Tzimorangas. “Pursuing the right power purchase at the right time while greening up all of the electricity the T will need for the next three years at a 20% cost reduction is a win-win-win for the T, its ridership, and the environment.”
“Our attorneys are thrilled to have been a part of the MBTA’s energy procurement and energy legal team for over 20 years,” said KP Law Shareholder Chris Pollart. “The MBTA’s bold renewable energy investment establishes the MBTA as a role model and leader for other public sector entities that are seeking to become greener and seeking to lessen their carbon footprint.”
As the largest single consumer of electricity in Massachusetts, the MBTA’s conversion to a 100% renewable energy platform will have a meaningful, positive impact on the Commonwealth’s carbon reduction goals. The contracts include the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for 100% of the MBTA’s electricity load (417,000,000 kWH/year) as well as provisions for purchasing 70% of the electricity at a fixed price. The MBTA’s leadership extends well beyond the purchase of renewable energy, guiding MBTA investments in on-site renewable energy infrastructure in several locations, with more to come. This infrastructure includes two wind turbines in Kingston and Bridgewater, small-scale solar projects at the Orient Heights and Braintree Stations, and installed solar canopies at three additional MBTA sites.
About Energy New England (ENE)
ENE is the largest wholesale risk management and energy trading organization serving the needs of municipal utilities in the northeast. ENE works with numerous businesses, residents, and utilities to help promote the principles of conservation, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and advances the many benefits available through integrated sustainability planning. www.ene.org
About KP Law
KP Law is the Commonwealth’s most experienced public sector law firm. The firm has approximately 45 years of experience in public law with over 98% of its practice devoted to representing municipalities and other public entities. The firm’s attorneys provide a wide spectrum of legal services to the most expansive public client base in the Commonwealth. Over a period of 35 years, our attorneys have worked for all of the 40 Massachusetts municipal light plants, as well as the Commonwealth’s three state agencies and authorities that own and operate wholesale electric utilities, as well as other public sector electric utilities. In addition, KP Law is Town Counsel or City Solicitor to over 125 municipalities in Massachusetts, provides labor and employment counsel to nearly all of these communities, and acts as special counsel to many others.