GHG Emissions, Solar, Sourcing Renewables - January 8, 2021
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority enters into new renewable energy contracts
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) announced on Jan. 4 that it has entered into two new 100% renewable energy contracts with BP Energy Company to reduce its carbon footprint and save more than $3 million per year.
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 Jan. 1, those carbon emissions are effectively avoided.
“These important investments in fully renewable energy, highlighted by the purchase of RECs for the entirety of our electricity load, mean that the MBTA has a dedicated commitment to electricity produced from renewable energy sources,” MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said in a statement. “With the beginning of these new contracts, the MBTA continues to expand its use of renewable energy in its portfolio and furthers its commitment to supporting sustainable transit.”
The combined 100% renewable power contract totals 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 RECs for 100% of the MBTA’s electricity load as well as provisions for providing 70% of the electricity at a fixed price.
The MBTA has a number of additional renewable energy projects completed and currently underway. Two wind turbines help power MBTA facilities while allowing the authority to sell electricity back to the grid. Small-scale solar projects include several recently completed solar canopies and more sites currently being explored. Upcoming renewable energy projects include the launch of a new solar power purchase agreement, the development of solar arrays at upcoming new construction locations and research into the MBTA becoming an anchor customer for upcoming offshore wind projects.