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Yawkey T stop to be Boston's first zero net energy station

Posted by boston.com  March 3, 2014 03:01 PM

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YAWKEY STATION PHOTO 1.png

Courtesy of Meredith Management Corp.

The renovated Yawkey Station near Fenway Park will become Boston’s first “zero net energy” commuter rail station.

The renovated Yawkey Station near Fenway Park will become Boston’s first “zero net energy” commuter rail station when construction is finished in 2017.

John Rosenthal, president of Meredith Management Corporation, renovated Yawkey Station as part of the planned Fenway Center, a complex of housing, retail, office space, parking, and parks that will be constructed over the Mass. Pike in the Fenway.

The grand opening for the new Yawkey Station is scheduled for March, Rosenthal said, but that doesn't mean construction will stop. Solar panels will be added to Yawkey Station, and a shared-use garage on which the solar photovoltaic power plant will be installed to service Yawkey Station will be built in the next three years.

Out of the 220,000 kilowatts the shared-use garage is projected to generate, Yawkey Station is projected to use 200,000 kilowatts of electricity from it.

“My guesstimate is that we will reduce the carbon footprint of the MBTA by 9 million pounds of C02 over the 30-year lifespan of the equipment when it starts working,” said Rosenthal.

The idea is that the sunlight reflected off of the solar panels will produce electricity for Yawkey Station and part of the garage.

The state provided $14.9 million for the renovation, which includes four new elevators and a handicapped-accessible ramp. Rosenthal said he will soon turn the renovated station over to the MBTA.

Kelly Smith, deputy press secretary for the MBTA, said the Framingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line, which runs through Yawkey Station will have more than 40 stops by March — more than twice as many as the original 16 stops when the line began running in the 1960s.

Ben Hellerstein of Environment Massachusetts said, “It’s really encouraging to see all levels of government — local, state, and even transportations agencies like the MBTA — taking solar energy very seriously.”

Rosenthal said a concern in finishing the “zero net energy” project at Yawkey Station is the future of solar energy tax credits over the next three years. Right now, “federal renewable energy tax credits are 30 percent and state credits have been 35 percent,” he said.

This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.

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