By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA has unveiled a new pilot program that it says makes it possibly the “greenest” transit agency in the nation.

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SEPTA officials today were calling it a “first-in-the-world achievement” for public transit: several stations are now converting the kinetic braking power of trains into electricity.

The room-sized battery that stores the energy (photo) is at the Letterly Substation, off Kensington Avenue.

“What we’re really doing is taking an asset, SEPTA’s trains, turning them into an asset on the grid, and multi-purposing this battery and these control systems so they are being used both to help the trains and the grid,” says Audrey Zibelman of Viridity Energy, one of the companies involved.

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The “grid” she refers to is the PJM Interconnect, which provides power to six states and eight power companies.

SEPTA can sell the power to the grid and make money to  pay off equipment expenses.  The project also reduces carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants.


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