November 8, 2010
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SEPTA Receives State Grant for Energy Recycling Project
The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority has awarded a $900,000 grant to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia and its partner, Viridity Energy, for a pilot project designed to recycle energy created through the regenerative braking of its trains and trolleys.
Under this project, SEPTA and Viridity will install a large-scale battery to capture the energy from regenerative braking of trains along a portion of the Market-Frankford Line, the highest ridership line in SEPTA’s system. The line already has regenerative braking installed into the system, but this new technology would capture energy that otherwise would dissipate into wasted heat or be lost if not used immediately.
By interconnecting a storage device to the overhead line, SEPTA can store the usable power and control the battery’s output to optimize the need for improved voltage and output to the grid for frequency control. This translates into less wasted power, better voltage stability, more grid stability, and a new line of revenue for a public transit agency.
As part of the pilot project, SEPTA expects to generate approximately $500,000 in economic value for the agency. A successful pilot could lead to potential deployment at all 38 SEPTA substations, which could translate into significant savings from SEPTA’s current electricity spend.