CommonWealth Magazine – CommonWealth magazine

THE MBTA is preparing to embrace renewable energy in a big way and save money in the process.

The T, the largest consumer of electricity in the state, plans to sign a three-year contract for 70 percent of its forecasted electricity needs – and all of the power will be renewable.

The precise terms of the contract still need to be ironed out, but T officials said they expect the electricity will cost less than $12 million a year plus a premium of $859,000 for renewable energy credits, which provide assurance that the power is coming from renewable sources. The T’s current contract for electricity is $15.5 million a year with no renewable energy; the Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday authorized a three-year contract with a total cost no greater than $36 million, or $12.7 million a year.

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Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Andrew Brennan, the T’s senior director for energy and environment, said one-third of the T’s current carbon footprint comes from its electricity usage. He said the new contract will offset 70 percent of that carbon output.

Brennan said the T is also exploring a number of other ways to embrace renewable energy. He said the T currently has wind turbine projects in Kingston and Bridgewater, solar projects at two subway stations, a geothermal project at the Hingham ferry terminal, and a solar canopy project with the potential to produce 25 megawatts of electricity.

The T also wants to get into the energy business more directly, buying solar power directly from developers and purchasing wind power directly from offshore wind farms, Brennan said.

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