Skip to main content

Energy Management

The MBTA’s approach to energy management consists of three fundamental ideas:

  1. Reduce the use of fossil fuels 
  2. Invest in renewable and clean energy 
  3. Efficient management of energy assets

By taking a holistic approach to energy management, we can reduce our carbon footprint, use energy more efficiently, and stabilize our energy budget.

As of January 2021, the MBTA will be powered by 100% renewable electricity.

Renewable Energy Resources

The MBTA will purchase its electricity and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from renewable energy providers in New England.

Benefits include:

  • The MBTA can certify the use of renewable energy in its portfolio
  • RECs provide a dedicated stake in electricity produced from certified renewable energy power plants
  • RECs allow energy producers to finance new clean energy projects in the region

In addition to the purchase of renewable energy, the MBTA has some on-site renewable energy infrastructure in various locations on MBTA property, with more to come. The projects below are just a few that will help the MBTA meet our clean energy goal.

Wind Energy

Close up view of the MBTA's wind turbine in Kingston Massachusetts.

The are two MBTA wind turbines:

The Kingston Turbine

Located near the Kingston Commuter Rail station, it powers both the station and the adjacent layover facility. Energy created by this turbine is:

  • Used to power station lighting
  • Used to power the units that keep train engines warm overnight in cold weather (without this clean energy, trains would need to idle overnight to keep from freezing)

The Bridgewater Turbine

Located near the Bridgewater Commuter Rail station, it powers both the station and the adjacent layover facility. Energy created by this turbine is:

  • Returned back to the local electrical grid for use by others
  • Acts as an offset for electricity consumed by the MBTA at other locations.

Funding for both turbines is provided by:

  • The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 
  • The Transportation Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reductions (TIGGER) 
  • A grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)

View the FMCB presentation on Electricity Procurement

Solar Energy

mbta solar canopy at nantasket station parking lot

The MBTA has partnered with True Green Capital to install, operate, and maintain solar canopies at MBTA parking lots.

As of 2020, there are three solar canopies generating energy on MBTA property. In the next two years, up to 25 new locations may be complete, with the potential to create up to 25 megawatts of solar energy capacity—expanding the Commonwealth’s renewable energy portfolio and reducing the cost of both electricity and snow removal for the MBTA.

This is in addition to the small scale solar energy arrays on MBTA property at Orient Heights and Braintree stations. The MBTA is also working toward adding solar arrays to new capital projects like Quincy Bus Facility and Riverside parking garage.

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Related Projects

Bus Facility Modernization

Buses parked in a garage, sunlight streaming in

Our new Quincy garage will be able to accommodate a zero-emissions fleet of battery-electric buses. 

Learn more about Bus Facility Modernization

Energy Efficiency Upgrades

A crewman installs new lights above the Green Line at Park Street

Tracking Energy Consumption

To track and manage energy consumption, the MBTA uses an Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS) to closely monitor energy consumption and billings to see if there are aberrations or areas where energy consumption is too high. This system provides critical data for the  more than 600 utility accounts in the MBTA system.

Among other metrics, the EEMS tracks “Energy Consumption per Passenger Trip” and “Energy Consumption per Mile.” The current system includes data from 2009 to today and tracks the use of electricity, diesel, gasoline, compressed natural gas (CNG), steam, and jet fuel.

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Related Projects

Bus Facility Modernization

Buses parked in a garage, sunlight streaming in

Our new Quincy garage will be able to accommodate a zero-emissions fleet of battery-electric buses. 

Learn more about Bus Facility Modernization