“This project benefits residents of our region, even people who don’t ride Metro, by leveraging the potential of our stations to generate revenue and increase the community’s access to a clean, renewable source of energy,” Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement. “This project advances the region’s sustainability goals while generating revenue to help keep Metro safe and affordable in an extremely tight budget environment.”
SunPower will install photovoltaic solar panels at the Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue stations at no cost to Metro, the transit agency said. Goldman Sachs Renewable Power, the company that will reap the power generated, will pay Metro annually for renting the space through 2047. The company operates more than 800 solar projects in 27 states, according to Metro.
In November, the Port Authority of New York also negotiated a deal with SunPower and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power to create New York City’s largest solar energy project at JFK International Airport, where panels will be installed at a building and a long-term parking lot, according to the New York Power Authority.
“We commend Metro for its environmental and sustainable vision and look forward to partnering with them on this significant project that will benefit our nation’s capital and community,” Sun Power chief executive and chairman Tom Werner said in a statement. “It is an impressive commitment as Metro optimizes its property for renewable energy to deliver long-term benefits, while improving rider comfort and lowering the carbon footprint.”
The project will also provide Metro commuters with covered parking spaces at the lots. Construction is scheduled to start in early 2021.
Metro estimated the project will create 17 acres of photovoltaic solar panels, generating enough power for the equivalent of 1,500 homes. Pepco customers will be able to sign up to use the energy, Metro said.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) lauded the project for its expected environmental impact, saying it will create a sustainable energy source to help fight climate change.
“Metro already plays a critical role in providing residents, workers, and visitors with sustainable transportation options, and now, with the addition of this renewable energy source, our region’s public transportation is getting even greener,” Bowser said in a statement. “As D.C. and our region continue the important work of fighting climate change and building more resilient communities, we applaud Metro for this innovative, win-win initiative that supports an ever-improving system for riders and a healthier planet for all of us.”
Prince George’s County executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) said she welcomes the project’s expected effect of lowering the region’s carbon footprint while also providing the county with another source of sustainable power.
“The installation of solar panels at Cheverly, Southern Avenue and Naylor Road Metrorail stations will contribute to lower carbon emissions for the region while creating a new source of power for our communities,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “This project is another step forward in making our County and region a leader in renewable energy.”