Partnering with the Franklin Institute on Climate Education

August 8, 2013

In 2012, the Franklin Institute received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of a five-year multi-city collaborative to study the prospects for enhancing urban quality of life through an informed response to climate change. SEPTA has been a partner in this effort, now referred to as the Climate Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP), from its inception.

On July 29, 2013, SEPTA and the Franklin Institute unveiled its first joint initiative under CUSP - a mural at the Huntingdon Station in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. The mural represents an effort to communicate the positive environmental impact of SEPTA's cutting-edge wayside energy storage project, located just blocks away at an electrical substation along the Market-Frankford Line.

By capturing, storing, and reusing regenerated energy created by braking trains, the grant-funded storage system will reduce electricity consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions from the power generated to supply it. In so doing, the system will help to mitigate the known impacts of global climate change in the Philadelphia region, which include more intense heat and heavy rain.

For SEPTA, the project is part of a strategy to reduce energy intensity by 10 percent and associated GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2015 (from baseline year 2009). The collaboration with the Franklin Institute through CUSP is helping to communicate to customers and the general public about SEPTA's ambitious sustainability goals, the wayside energy storage project in particular, and the critical importance of taking proactive steps now to protect our communities from a changing planet.

Read the press release here.

See the mural design here.

Photo Courtesy of the Franklin Institute