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EGEB: Washington, DC’s Metro makes a $50M solar power deal

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Washington’s Metro agrees to a huge community solar deal with SunPower and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power.
  • UN chief: ‘Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans.’
  • Mid-Atlantic US supermarket chain Giant Food is installing Volta EV chargers for customers.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Metro’s big solar project

Washington, DC’s Metro has made a 25-year, $50 million deal with SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power LLC (GSRP) to install solar-paneled carports or canopies over surface lots and above parking garages at four rail stations. The stations are Anacostia, Cheverly (pictured above), Naylor Road, and Southern Avenue.

The project will cost Metro nothing, and the four stations, located in the District and Prince George’s County, will host a total of 17 acres of PV solar panels capable of producing 12.8 megawatts of electricity. It will be the largest community solar project in the DC metropolitan area and one of the largest in the US.

SunPower will install the PV solar panels and GSRP will own the solar system and pay Metro annually. Construction is expected to begin in early 2021.

Washington, DC’s mayor Muriel Bowser said:

Metro already plays a critical role in providing residents, workers, and visitors with sustainable transportation options, and now, with the addition of this renewable energy source, our region’s public transportation is getting even greener.

Washington’s Clean Energy DC plan aims to cut carbon emissions in half and transition to 100% green energy by 2032.

UN chief: Stop financing coal

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged countries yesterday to stop financing coal and pledge not to build new coal-fired power plants. Guterres made his statements at an online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency.

CNN summarizes:

The summit included 40 government ministers from countries around the world, representing 80% of global energy use and emissions. Its aim was to set out plans to reduce global emissions while also boosting economic recovery after COVID-19.

“Coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery plans,” he said. He urged countries to shift to green energy.

Guterres said the business case for green energy renewables was better than coal, and that green jobs and investment in sustainables were vital. He said:

We can invest in fossil fuels whose markets are volatile and whose emissions lead to lethal air pollution, or we can invest in renewable energy which is reliable, clean, and economically smart.

He commended governments that have committed to green recovery plans such as the EU, South Korea, Nigeria, and Canada. China, which accounts for more than 50% of global coal use, said it was committed to developing its green energy sector.

Giant Food installs EV chargers

Supermarket chain Giant Food, which operates 163 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., is rolling out free EV stations for its customers with Volta.

Giant will install 60 EV charging stations by the end of 2020 and 200 more by mid-2021. Each store with EV charging will feature two free Volta chargers with two-sided, 55-inch high-definition displays.

Volta’s other supermarket clients include Whole Foods Market and Wegmans.

Giant Food President Ira Kress said:

We are excited to offer our customers who opt for electric cars the satisfaction of quick and free charging while they shop. It’s a value for our shoppers that also benefits the environment.

Photo: Andy Feliciotti/Unsplash

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.