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Rail News Home Sustainability


Rail News: Sustainability

MTA to test energy-reduction technology on subway system

The technology will use electricity produced by subway trains' regenerative braking systems.
Photo – Metropolitan Transportation Authority


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) late last week unveiled a pilot project to test technology aimed at reducing peak energy consumption for the New York City subway system.

The "value stack approach" uses electricity produced by subway trains' regenerative braking systems, agency officials said in a press release. The technology also would generate revenue through participation in both the Con Edison and New York Independent System Operator demand-response programs.

ABB Group and Viridity have partnered with the MTA on the pilot.

Funded by the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, the "Smart Battery" pilot is a wayside energy management system that stores and returns braking energy. When a train brakes, most of the regenerative energy goes unused and is dissipated as heat through third-rail resistors, according to the MTA.

However, with the Enviline™Energy Storage System supplied by ABB, the energy can be saved and strategically released during peak consumption hours when the electricity from the grid is most expensive and demand on the Con Edison distribution system is the highest.

"Rising energy costs necessitate a smarter approach from large transportation entities like ours. They require us to constantly be looking for outside-of-the-box solutions," said MTA President Pat Foye. "The need to identify more energy efficient ways of operating will only increase in the future and the Smart Battery technology presents a real blueprint for how we can achieve progress."

The technology pilot will begin at a subway power substation next year, MTA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/22/2018