SB 502: Open Letter to CA Senate Appropriations Committee

Supporting BART purchase & delivery of renewable electricity

CSE supports the diversification of transportation technologies focused on air quality improvements and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions — both of which would be accomplished by SB 502. The bill directly supports the Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART’s) ability to operate an even “cleaner and greener” fleet by providing additional renewable energy (RE) procurement options. It will explicitly allow BART to purchase wholesale electricity from RE resources eligible under the California Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) from a diverse range of eligible generation facilities.1

Fundamentally, RE resources provide energy that is abundant, reliable, sustainable and, with modern technology and controls, flexible, and hence is ideal to power BART and other transportation systems.

Although 100% RE targets have not been set by BART, SB 502 establishes a path through which BART could be powered completely by clean energy and realize future RE benchmarks. Further, SB 502 can act as a model for our state’s transit systems, encouraging other agencies to institute similar RE practices. More widely, SB 502 aligns with the governor’s 50/50/50 goals and supports the state’s wide-ranging environmental initiatives as outlined in Assembly Bill 32 and its pending successors.

SB 502 is fundamentally good transportation policy. The bill supports BART in its quest to have additional RE options, builds added resiliency into BART’s electricity procurement practices and aligns with statewide GHG emissions reductions efforts and strategies.

It is CSE’s perspective that all rail systems — including but not limited to BART — can and should operate using 100% RE, including self‐generated energy. SB 502 establishes a framework for BART to achieve this goal, and accordingly, CSE strongly encourages your support for this bill.


1 Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility includes sources such as biodiesel; biogas/biomethane; biomass; conduit hydroelectric; digester gas; fuel cells using renewable fuels; Geothermal; hydroelectric incremental generation from efficiency improvements; landfill gas; municipal solid waste; ocean wave, thermal and tidal current; photovoltaic; small hydroelectric; solar thermal electric; and wind. Source: California Energy Commission


About Sachu Constantine

Sachu was our former director of Policy.