High-Speed Rail Operations & Renewable

The Authority has committed to using 100 percent renewable energy for powering the system.  This is a unique commitment, but very sensible given the abundance of renewable energy resources in California: sun, wind, geothermal, and bioenergy.   While the precise contracts and agreements will be worked out over the next several years, the ultimate result will be a net-zero rail system.  Net-zero is achieved  by procuring or producing enough renewable energy to offset the amount of energy it takes from the state’s power grid to operate trains and facilities.

The Authority will not only consider the opportunities to produce renewable energy on its facilities (rooftop and platform canopies) but will work closely with seasoned renewable energy developers to find cost-effective renewable energy generation opportunities.  There are also more innovative sources, such as biogas from the state’s dairies, that could be cost effectively utilized for train electricity.

A net-zero rail system will increase the environmental benefits and reinforce California’s renewable energy economy while providing the Authority with a cost-stable source of electricity.

The results: in 2022 alone, using renewable energy rather than just the grid would mean saving 58,000 to 118,000 thousand barrels of oil.  The high-speed rail system will save 2.0 to 3.2 million barrels of oil annually starting in 2030.

In April 2013, the Authority released a Call to Industry to solicit guidance on the procurement of renewable energy sources to help the Authority meets its 100 percent renewable energy goals.

In June 2016, the Authority and the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (Energy Commission) executed a Memorandum of Agreement to explore the latest green technology and best practices during the design and construction of the nationís first high-speed rail system. This MOU will help facilitate the use of renewable energy, the delivery of zero net energy buildings and incorporation of zero emission vehicle infrastructure in California as part of the rail system.