( BART )

Directors of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) have approved two 20-year purchase agreements for wind and solar energy, one with NextEra Energy Resources and the other with Recurrent Energy.

The BART board’s action followed its adoption in April 2017 of a Wholesale Electricity Portfolio Policy.

NextEra Energy Resources will build a 61.7 MW (megawatt) wind energy project, and Recurrent Energy will build a new 45 MW solar energy project, both in Kern County. Both are scheduled to be online by Jan. 1, 2021.

According to BART, the transit district now gets 4 percent of its electricity supply from renewable sources.

Under the new plan, about 90 percent of the district’s power needs will come from renewable resources by 2021, when the two new projects begin delivery. 

“As BART’s energy needs increase, the new renewable energy agreements will provide about 75 percent of BART’s electricity needs beginning in 2025 and for the remainder of the 20-year terms,” the district says.

 “BART received a robust set of competitive bids in response to the Request for Proposals that was issued in May 2017,” said BART Sustainability Director Holly Gordon in an article posted on BART’s website. “The price per kWh (kilowatt hour) that BART will pay when the projects begin operating in 2021 is lower than what BART currently pays for energy. That low price will be locked in for 20 years, resulting in significant cost savings for BART over the long term.”

“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.” 

BART plans to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. BART uses about 400,000 MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity every year, making it among the largest power users in Northern California.