PATCO is powering the rapid transit system serving Philadelphia and South Jersey with 22 Megawatts (MW) of solar energy. The project supplies more than 50 percent of the annual electricity needs for PATCO operations.
Bi-state agency Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) structured the project through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SunPower Corporation. DRPA estimates the project will save $12 million through lower electricity costs, while achieving an environmental benefit equivalent to offsetting the annual carbon emissions of more than 4,000 vehicles.
Burns served as the owner’s representative, overseeing electrical design, construction, and commissioning. Connecting the solar power at multiple locations — four PATCO stations, two interstate bridges, and DRPA’s One Port Center — added challenges unlike any other solar installation.
Burns was retained to ensure the project complied with state and utility requirements, without negatively interfering with PATCO traction power systems. Services included:
The project reached commercial operation in Spring 2022.
Burns is a long-time solutions provider for DRPA/PATCO railway systems and facilities. Current engagements include consulting DRPA on redesign of the 32,000-square-foot Lindenwold Shop and Office facility, renovation of Franklin Square Station, and ADA accessibility for six PATCO stations.
Delaware River Port Authority