San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) announced yesterday the approval of two 20-year renewable energy power purchase agreements.
“These agreements will ensure the District gets a majority of its electricity supply from clean, renewable, and competitively-priced sources through at least 2040,” said BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman. “Wind and solar energy will take center stage in BART’s long-term electricity supply.”
One of the agreements calls for NextEra Energy Resources to build a new 61.7 MW (megawatt) wind energy project and the other calls for Recurrent Energy (a subsidiary of Canadian Solar) to build a new 45 MW solar energy project. Both projects will be located in Kern County and are expected to be online by January 1, 2021.
The 112 mile BART system currently uses about 400,000 MWh (megawatt hours) and is one of the largest users in Northern California.
Renewable energy will account for about 90% of the District’s electricity portfolio starting in 2021, when the two new renewable projects begin delivery under the agreements. BART currently gets 4% of its electricity supply from renewable sources.
As BART’s energy needs increase, the new renewable energy agreements will provide about 75% of BART’s electricity needs beginning in 2025 and for the remainder of the 20-year terms.
A Wholesale Electricity Portfolio Policy adopted by the BART board in April 2017 set out the goal of obtaining at least 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The new agreements mean BART is well ahead of that goal.