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DC’s Metro makes a $50M solar power deal

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DC Metro has made a 25-year, $50 million deal with SunPower and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power (GSRP) to install solar-paneled carports or canopies at four rail stations over surface lots and over parking garages.

Combined, the four sites will have an electrical capacity of 12.8 megawatts making this the largest community solar project in the National Capital Area and one of the largest in the US.

Under the agreement, SunPower will install photovoltaic solar panels at the Anacostia, Cheverly, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue stations at no cost to Metro.

GSRP will own the solar power system and provide Metro with annual payments through 2047 creating a long-term revenue source to sustain the operations of the transit agency.

“This project benefits residents of our region, even people who don’t ride Metro, by leveraging the potential of our stations to generate revenue and increase the community’s access to a clean, renewable source of energy. This project advances the region’s sustainability goals while generating revenue to help keep Metro safe and affordable in an extremely tight budget environment.”

Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager/CEO.

“We commend Metro for its environmental and sustainable vision and look forward to partnering with them on this significant project that will benefit our nation’s capital and community. It is an impressive commitment as Metro optimizes its property for renewable energy to deliver long-term benefits, while improving rider comfort and lowering the carbon footprint.”

Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and chairman of the board.

When the stations, located in the District and Prince George ‘s County, are complete, they will have 17 acres of solar photovoltaic panels-the equivalent of 13 football fields-and produce enough energy to power at least 1500 single-family homes.

Homes and businesses in Pepco’s DC and Maryland area will be able to apply for a share of the project’s clean, renewable energy while saving on their electric bill.

Metro already plays a critical role in providing residents, workers, and visitors with sustainable transportation options, and now, with the addition of this renewable energy source, our region’s public transportation is getting even greener. As DC and our region continue the important work of fighting climate change and building more resilient communities, we applaud Metro for this innovative, win-win initiative that supports an ever-improving system for riders and a healthier planet for all of us.”

Muriel Bowser, DC mayor.

“The installation of solar panels at Cheverly, Southern Avenue and Naylor Road Metrorail stations will contribute to lower carbon emissions for the region while creating a new source of power for our communities. This project is another step forward in making our County and region a leader in renewable energy.”

Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Executive

Construction is expected to begin early next year and will also provide Metro customers who park and ride with new shaded parking and protection from the elements.

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