Blue Ribbon MTA Sustainability Commission draft report embraces wind power

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, serving greater New York City, has released a draft final report discussing its commitment to sustainable energy. It describes a potentially sizable commitment to wind power (and no, we’re not talking sails on the rail or bus fleets).

Per the MTA:

In September 2007 MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander charged the Blue Ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the MTA with developing sustainability-related recommendations for the MTA and its operating agencies. The recommendations aim to expand the “greening power of transit” to more riders and communities, while managing and reducing the MTA’s per-rider energy consumption and environmental footprint. To develop the plan, the 22 commissioners divided into Working Groups covering key areas of sustainability planning: Energy/Carbon; Facilities; Smart-growth/TOD; Materials Flow; and Water Management. In addition to the commissioners, each group worked with designated MTA staff, research consultants, and pro bono experts. The Commission issued an Interim Report in April 2008; a Synopsis of its Final Report in January 2009; and will issue its Full Final Report in February 2009. The report will examine cost-savings through green initiatives, adaptation strategies for climate change, and legislative priorities. The full report contains nearly 100 recommendations in all, with about 20 that are transformational, 40 near-term, and about 30 that require legislative and/or policy action by decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels.

The draft report is available here. It envisions a substantial commitment by MTA to wind power as power generation source. Including:

Energy Project 1. Join Offshore Wind Consortium. To accelerate the MTA’s conversion to renewable energy, the MTA should enter into a consortium with NYPA, the Long Island Power Authority, New York City, the suburban counties, and other parties to develop offshore wind sources along the coastlines of Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties capable of generating up to 1500 megawatts (MW) of clean energy. Governor Paterson has already convened a working group with Con Edison and LIPA to assess the feasibility of wind turbines off Rockaway Point. NYPA has expressed a strong interest in joining forces with the MTA. The MTA should be a major player in the consortium. With its large, steady power requirements, the MTA is an ideal user of wind power. In addition, onsite renewable generation and consumption have the added advantage of avoiding congested transmission lines, which have often hindered the proliferation of renewable power in New York State. The scale, clean energy potential and high efficiency of offshore wind farming, along with the funding value of RECs, makes this a potentially transformational project for the MTA.


Energy Project 4. Build Integrated Wind/Solar Energy  Sources. The MTA should assess the feasibility and costs of integrating wind turbines, solar PV panels, or a mix of the two, into the new roof installations. For example, at the Far Rockaway Bus Depot, this technology could supply  approximately 30 percent of the depot’s 300 kW load. At present, a feasibility study has been conducted and potential funding sources are being identified

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