We’re building and retrofitting facilities so that they have the least impact to human health and the environment, like the new state-of-the-art Division 13 bus maintenance center in downtown Los Angeles. Division 13 is Metro’s sixth Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building constructed from the ground up.
To date, we have installed more than five megawatts of renewable energy in our facilities, and we currently enjoy more than $2.5 million worth of annually avoided energy costs. We just completed the installation of a Wayside Energy System on the Gold Line. When operational later this year, it will yield additional cost-savings and energy resiliency opportunities throughout our system.
To do our part during the California drought, we achieved a 15% reduction in water consumption due to the installation of more efficient fixtures, water conservation measures, and similar efforts; Metro is well on its way to fulfilling our goal of an additional 20% water reduction goal by 2017.
Metro completed the Freeway Beautification Pilot Project by finalizing construction of a new, drought-tolerant landscape at the I-710/I-105 interchange. Through this project Metro has augmented Caltrans efforts to improve the appearance of stretches of the I-110 and I-710 through graffiti abatement, litter removal, landscape maintenance and landscape improvements.
Our agency currently is generating about 80,000 carbon credits per year through the dispensing of fossil compressed natural gas into our bus fleet. We have sold more than $20 million worth of carbon credits in the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard market (LCFS) with the proceeds currently being re-invested in implementing or building a greater number of green infrastructure projects.
This year, we have initiated a procurement for renewable natural gas (RNG) that will replace the fossil natural gas currently in use; and once RNG use is fully implemented in early 2018, our agency will at least double the number of carbon credits that we generate and can sell in the LCFS market for greater green infrastructure investments. Most importantly, we expect to reach the 2050 CARB air quality goals for both Nitrous Oxide (NOx) compounds and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reductions in 2025 by using renewable natural gas, along with CNG buses that are equipped with low NOx compound-emitting engines that we currently are procuring.
This year, Metro began operating the Monrovia Yard and Santa Monica Yard Rail Facilities, which are projected to achieve one of the highest sustainability goals of any transit facility in terms of energy use, water conservation, green roof, drought tolerant plants, and other related green infrastructure. The Santa Monica Yard in particular is projected to be Metro’s first net zero facility once solar panels are installed in 2017.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Metro displaced more greenhouse gas emissions than it produced in 2015 by more than 8,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which means that simply operating our transit and transportation system produces net greenhouse emissions benefits for our region.