SEPTA Highlights Environmental Progress For Earth Day

A shot of the Elk Hill 2 solar farm. Photo via SEPTA.

As communities across the country recognize Earth Day, SEPTA is highlighting some of the environmental initiatives it’s revealed over the past few years.

“SEPTA is proud to be an industry leader in efforts to make public transportation more sustainable,” said General Manager Leslie Richards. “As an organization, we are committed to staying on the cutting-edge by utilizing new technologies and innovative practices.”

Most recently, the transportation authority got its first offsite solar farm up and running in February. It has 43,800 solar panels laid out over 80 acres in Franklin County.

Dubbed Elk Hill Solar 2, it will generate 27,377 MWh per year. This is more than seven percent of SEPTA’s total electricity demand.

Estimates show solar farms of its size offset emissions by 19,360 metric tons of CO2 annually. This is roughly equivalent to nearly 4,200 cars.

At the time, SEPTA Board Chairman Pat Deon, Sr. called it a “win-win.”

“This project is a win-win, creating good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians while locking in low prices with a clean energy source for SEPTA,” explained Deon. “We’re excited to be a part of moving the Commonwealth’s energy industry forward.”

SEPTA is also developing a Battery-Electric Bus master plan. Their goal is to more adopt zero-emission vehicles throughout the region.

And one of the largest projects is a complete energy efficiency retrofit of SEPTA’s headquarters in Center City.

These goals are part of SEPTA’s five year strategic plan called SEPTA Forward. The five year plan is also focused on improving transportation in Southeastern Pennsylvania as the world emerges from the pandemic.