SEPTA Approves 3.1 MW Solar PPA

May 26, 2017

The SEPTA Board today unanimously authorized installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at four bus and rail shops across the City of Philadelphia. The project is SEPTA's biggest solar initiative, and when finished, will represent one of the largest installations in the city.


The selected vendor, SunVest Solar, Inc., will finance, own, design, install, operate and maintain the roof-mounted PV systems for 20 years. The project team includes Solar States, a Philadelphia-based solar installation and education firm. The project is a key initiative of SEPTA's recently approved second-generation Sustainability Program Plan, SEP-TAINABLE 2020, which includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from SEPTA's operations and facilities by 20 percent by 2020.

"SEPTA is proud to step into a position of leadership among Philadelphia businesses in the strategic deployment of renewable energy on our system," said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon. "This project thoughtfully leverages an existing asset - roof space at maintenance facilities - to make SEPTA's ongoing operations cleaner and more efficient."
Arrays of solar panels will be installed at four maintenance locations, each with large flat roofs that are well-suited to host a system for the 20-year period:

  • 2nd & Wyoming (Bus Maintenance, Print & Sign Shop)
  • Fern Rock (Rail Shop for Broad Street Line)
  • Callowhill (Bus Maintenance)
  • Roberts (Rail Shop for Regional Railcars)

"SEPTA's solar project will total 3.1 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity - the second largest ever in the City of Philadelphia," said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. "The project will increase the total installed capacity of solar PV systems across the City by more than 30 percent.

"For years, SEPTA has been reducing energy consumption and emissions through initiatives such as hybrid-electric bus acquisition and LED lighting installation," Knueppel added. "This solar project, along with other exciting new initiatives such as a new fleet of battery-electric buses to arrive this fall, demonstrates SEPTA's enduring commitment to environmental improvement."

"The City of Philadelphia applauds SEPTA for taking a proactive step to integrate renewables into its energy portfolio," said Mayor James Kenney. "This project supports the City's Greenworks visions around clean energy, reduced carbon pollution, and job creation in the local clean energy economy. Public transportation is already one of the best ways that Philadelphians can reduce their own environmental impact, and with this project, SEPTA continues to lead on sustainability."