In efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, the MBTA signed two new renewable energy contracts with BP Energy Company and Direct Energy LLC. The contracts, which take effect this week, will reportedly help the transit agency save 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 GM 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 U.S. 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.
The combined 100% renewable power contract total is approximately $12.13 million per year for a three-year term, down from about $15.5 million per year during the previous five-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 one-megawatt hour of electricity.
The MBTA has a number of additional renewable energy projects completed and currently underway.