Public Transit in Pennsylvania to Become Energy Producer

Public Transit in Pennsylvania to Become Energy Producer

A pilot program of a public transit energy storage system (ESS) has been launched in Pennsylvania. The program would make the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority a producer of energy, rather than an energy consumer.

ABB and Viridity Energy and Saft Battery have partnered together to launch a six-month pilot program that will help the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) into an energy producer. The program consists of using an energy storage system (ESS) and “regenerative breaking”, which captures kinetic energy from the deceleration train and converts that energy into electricity.

“Recovering energy lost during braking is one of SEPTA’s primary energy-saving initiatives,” said Jacques Poulin, Product Manager of Energy Storage, ABB Rail Transportation. “Eventually, the industry-wide deployment of these smart grid technologies will deliver substantial economic and environmental benefit to public transit systems.”  

So far, results show that the substation system on the Market-Frankford Line in North Philadelphia produces more than $250,000 in energy savings and earned revenues per year. This initiative is part of SEPTA’s Sustainability Program goal of reducing energy use per passenger mile by 10 percent by the year 2015.

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