SEPTA stays focused on energy efficiency with second energy storage and unique hybrid system from ABB

2014-09-18 - ABB has been awarded a contract by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) to install a second ENVILINE energy storage and recovery system for DC rail transportation.
The system recovers the train braking energy to reduce the electricity consumption of trains, and also generates revenues by providing frequency regulation services to the local Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). The system will be installed at the Griscom Substation, which is located on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line in Philadelphia. The first system was installed successfully along the Market-Frankford Line, SEPTA’s most heavily traveled route, in 2012.

ABB, Viridity Energy and Saft Battery partnered with SEPTA to deploy this system. The storage systems are unique because they benefit both the train system and the local electricity grid. We achieve energy savings and monthly revenues from frequency regulation support. Given this success, we were encouraged to move forward with a second project, and selected ABB following an open request for proposal process”, said Dave Montvydas, Manager, EM&C Power Department at SEPTA.

“ABB has a proven track record for providing innovative solutions and this repeat order confirms our ability to become a partner and supplier of choice to operators of modern rail systems”, says Chris Poynter, Vice President Division Manager - Discrete Automation and Motion ABB Canada.

“This time, we will go one step further and deploy a hybrid energy storage system by combining super capacitors with batteries. We will recover more braking energy, produce higher revenues from the frequency regulation, and extend the battery life. This innovation demonstrates the full capability and flexibility of our ENVILINE platform”, says Jacques Poulin, Product Manager – Energy Storage.

ENVILINE is a complete line of power, protection and energy management equipment for DC traction power substations. The line includes braking energy recovery systems which recycles otherwise wasted energy by storing and recycling, or by returning back on the AC network. For additional details, refer to

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

SEPTA ( is a transportation authority serving the Philadelphia region. It operates a fully multi-modal transit system, including bus, subway and elevated rail, commuter rail, trolley/light rail, high-speed rail and electric trolley bus. SEPTA is the sixth largest public transit agency in the United States, with a daily ridership of more than one million.