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12/27/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

WMATA obtains $15 million in federal bonds to fund solar equipment



The U.S. Treasury Department recently awarded $15 million in clean renewable energy bonds to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) as part of a national program to fund alternative renewable energy projects.

WMATA will use the funds to install solar equipment at six buildings in Maryland and Virginia, including the Shady Grove, Greenbelt and New Carrollton rail yards.

The authority plans to negotiate a 20-year deal with a financing consortium to design, build, operate and maintain the equipment. Comprising New York-based finance company Allco Renewable Energy Group Ltd. and Baltimore-based solar energy firm Sun Edison, the consortium will make payments to WMATA, which the authority will use to retire the bonds; WMATA will purchase energy from the consortium at a fixed, below-market rate.

The solar equipment will reduce energy costs by about $75,000 annually, WMATA said.


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