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Rail News: Sustainability

Sound Transit's Link light-rail now runs on clean energy

Sound Transit Is the first major light-rail system in the U.S. to run entirely on carbon free energy, agency officials said in a press release.
Photo – Sound Transit Facebook


Sound Transit yesterday announced that its Link light-rail system in Seattle is running entirely on carbon-free electricity.

Sound Transit entered into an a 10-year agreement with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to purchase wind energy from the utility's Green Direct program. The program supplies renewable energy from the Skookumchuck Wind Facility to six Link light-rail accounts that serve the Airport and Angel Lake stations.  

The agreement with PSE is projected to save more than $390,000 in electricity costs over the life of the contract.

The six light-rail accounts make up just over 70% of the agency's greenhouse gas emissions from electricity. The rest of the Link system is powered by Seattle City Light, a carbon neutral electric utility. Combined, all of the light-rail system now runs on carbon-free and renewable energy, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.

Sound Transit is the first major light-rail system in the United States to achieve this milestone, Sound Transit officials said.

In the coming months, the agency will add a 100KW solar power installation to its east operations and maintenance facility. Also in 2021, it will receive additional renewable energy from the Green Direct program to power the remainder of its PSE accounts, which will enable Sound Transit to reduce its agency-wide greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by 96%.

Sound Transit 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 carbon free by 2050, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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