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Barcelona, Bilbao and Malaga metros to run on renewable electricity

Barcelona, Bilbao and Malaga metros to run on renewable electricity

The three cities subway operators, together with the Murcia tram network, presented a joint tender

Four urban public transit operators, from virtually every corner of Spain, will have the electricity needs of three metro and one tram network covered for the next two years through the supply of renewably sourced energy.

For this purpose, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), Metro Bilbao SA, Metro Málaga SA and Sociedad Concesionaria Tranvía de Murcia have awarded the tender contract to the Spanish energy producer Endesa.

The Barcelona Metro is the largest consumer of the four

Electricity is essential for the operation of railway services, both trains and facilities, and one of its main items of expenditure. Thus, in the next two years, between the four railway networks promoting the public tender will consume about 350 GWh, for an estimated amount of 34 million euros per year (68.64 million in total) plus taxes. In addition, there is a regulated tariff that each company pays to its distributor. This consumption is equivalent to that of all households in a city the size of Malaga.

Of these four Spanish public transit operators, by far the largest energy consumer is the Barcelona Metro.  For the years 2022 and 2023, TMB has reported that it is expected to consume about 275 gigawatts/hour (GWh) per year, for an estimated amount of 50 million euros.

With this power supply, the five conventional TMB metro lines will operate for the next two years, which together with the automatic ones (not included in the tender) are 125 kilometres long and carry around 1.2 million passengers every day.

The joint tendering of the supply by several railway companies —a practice in existence since 2009— aims to achieve the best possible contracting conditions at all times, within efforts made by public and concessionary companies to reduce costs and optimize resources. 

This time, the awarding has taken the form of an indexed contract, in which the price is adjusted according to the daily and hourly evolution of the market. Similarly, the contract contains a flexibility clause that allows it to be moved at a fixed price if market conditions so advise.

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