Passengers on London Underground's Piccadilly Line wearing coronavirus face coverings

UK: London Underground has called tenders for a long-term contract for the supply of electricity from renewable sources, as part of a wider scheme for the Greater London Authority group to move to renewable energy by 2030.

Transport for London as a whole uses around 1·6 TWh/year, which is currently sourced directly from the National Grid via the Crown Commercial Service. The initial London Underground renewable power contract, called PPA Comet, is expected to cover the supply of 150-200 GWh/year for 15 years, starting between June 2024 and June 2026.

The electricity would be bought through a power purchase agreement, a long-term contract with a generator which would provide TfL with cost certainty by reducing exposure to changes in the wholesale energy market and which would guarantee the use of renewable sources, rather than a mix of power generators.

A ‘sleeved’ PPA would be used, with TfL paying its existing utility supplier which would in turn deal with the renewable power generator.

When Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the PPA plan last year, the GLA said it would procure power in blocks meeting 10% of its needs, enabling it to ‘learn and adapt’ as the renewable market evolves.

The GLA is also exploring ways to support renewable power by making long-term asset financing for new-build solar and wind farms available to PPA bidders. This could included creating a fund for public and private investors to invest directly into new renewable projects supplying the GLA group, which includes the Greater London Authority, TfL, the London Fire Commissioner, the Mayor’s Office for Policing & Crime, London Legacy Development Corp and Old Oak Common & Park Royal Development Corp.