Metro recently sold off space in the District and Prince George’s County for a new community solar project in Washington. The space was equal to 13 football fields and comprised of garages and parking lots in these two regions. According to Metro, when completed, the solar project is expected to be worth up to $50 million over 25 years.
Goldman Sachs Renewable Power and SunPower Corporation are part of the new deal, which provides the two companies with space above garages and on surface lots owned by Metro. Goldman Sachs and SunPower will look to install carports or canopies at four of Metro’s rail stations to draw in solar power. Based on the original plans, the sites will be able to generate 12.8 megawatts of energy, making them part of the biggest community solar project in Washington.
According to Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager, the project is a step toward achieving the region’s goals for sustainability. The sale will also provide Metro with the revenue needed to keep facilities safe and transit affordable. Wiedefeld confirmed that the new community solar project will also benefit the public as they will be able to access the renewable energy that it produces.
Along with the District and Prince George’s County installations, SunPower will be installing photovoltaic panels at Cheverly, Anacostia, Naylor Road and Southern Avenue stations pro bono. All power generated by these solar panels will go to Goldman Sachs, who will pay Metro an annual fee for renting the spaces through 2047.
Money generated from the community solar project will go toward Metro’s operating budget. This should help mitigate losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SunPower and Goldman Sachs also negotiated a deal with the Port Authority of New York in November 2019. This deal was to develop the largest solar energy project in New York City at JFK International Airport.