A bill signed into law Sept. 20 by Gov. Gavin Newsom will give BART unrestricted access to California’s wholesale energy markets, helping that transit agency meet its commitment to a clean, 100-percent renewable electric supply by 2045.
Assembly Bill 923, authored by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, is also designed to give BART broader access to more diverse sources of greenhouse gas-free energy sources.
The new law could save BART an estimated $415,000 to $1.2 million per year without increasing costs to the state or other market participants, BART officials say.
Unrestricted access to wholesale electric markets will allow BART to balance its intermittent renewable generation from solar, wind and small hydroelectric sources reliably and economically.
This new authority is critically important now, BART says, as the transit agency prepares to bring online two wholesale renewable projects in 2021 that together will supply approximately 80 percent of BART’s annual electric needs.
BART’s trains are, of course, powered by electricity.