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BART Ups Green Ante

The BART Board of Directors voted unanimously to lift the price cap on the purchase of alternative energy, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The initiative, which could add an estimated $1.8 million to the rail system’s annual power bill, will raise the $70-per-megawatt hour price-limit for green power so that BART can seek other alternative energy, much of which averages $100 per megawatt hour.

Currently, more than half of BART’s power comes from hydroelectric, and while that is considered a renewable source, it falls into a different category from wind, wave, solar or thermal. Tom Radulovich, BART’s director, said that the new investment can be used as a catalyst to expand the alternative-energy supply, which may help bring the price down.

BART is in the top ten of electricity users in Northern California and has set a goal of getting 20 percent of its energy from alternative sources by 2010. The Northern California Power Agency has agreed to supply BART with seven megawatts of renewable energy.

Recently, New York City’s MTA launched a sustainability initiative, and last year, Cincinnati’s transit authority claimed that switching to biodiesel in its buses saved the city almost half a million dollars.

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