Sound Transit Light Rail Running on ‘Clean Energy’

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
“Sound Transit is now at the national forefront of operating carbon-free transit,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said.

“Sound Transit is now at the national forefront of operating carbon-free transit,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said.

Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) reported that its Link light rail system in the Seattle metropolitan area is running on carbon-free electricity.

The agency is now purchasing wind energy from Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) Green Direct program under a 10-year contract—a move projected to save more than $390,000 in electricity costs over the contract term.

Six Link light rail accounts with PSE, which serve the Airport and Angle Lake stations, are receiving renewable energy from western Washington’s Skookumchuk Wind Facility. Those accounts had made up about 70% of Sound Transit’s greenhouse gas emissions from electricity.

The rest of the Link system is powered by Seattle City Light, a carbon neutral electric facility, so now all of Link light rail runs on carbon-free and renewable energy, Sound Transit said.

In the coming months, Sound Transit said it will also add a 100KW solar power installation to the Operations and Maintenance Facility–East.

“Sound Transit is now at the national forefront of operating carbon-free transit,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said. “What’s exciting about this partnership [with PSE] is that we are demonstrating that sustainability leadership can be accomplished by simultaneously lowering costs for taxpayers while maximizing positive impacts to the local economy.”

Sound Transit reported it is “committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of renewable energy and making all electricity used for operations carbon free by 2030, and all energy used for operations, including diesel, carbon free by 2050.”

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