Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle
BART gets go-ahead to buy clean energy directlyBy Melody Gutierrez, August 7, 2015 6:44pm
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that allows BART to purchase renewable energy directly from wholesale suppliers as the rail system looks to further reduce its carbon footprint.
SB502 by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, eliminates a barrier the BART Board of Directors face when purchasing electricity, which is currently limited to a short list of approved suppliers, according to bill supporters.
Under the new law, BART officials would no longer have to go through a third party to buy renewable energy on their behalf and instead could purchase directly from facilities covered under California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard.
“BART is a vital regional transit system that is working to increase its use of clean energy, but current state law unnecessarily limits the agency from further decreasing its carbon footprint,” Leno said in a statement. “This bill supports state goals to combat climate change and enables BART to continue providing cost-effective transportation for the Bay Area while increasing the agency’s use of renewable energy.”
BART buys its electricity from the Northern California Power Agency and the Western Area Power Administration. The trains, which are 100 percent electric, derive half of their power from clean hydroelectric power and renewable sources.
“This legislation will allow us to seek out new sources of clean renewable energy and for suppliers to offer it to us at a good price,” BART board President Thomas Blalock said in a statement.
SB502 passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously.