SunTrain Visits the Port of Long Beach to Highlight Green Energy Distribution

LONG BEACH, Calif., Jan. 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — SunTrain, a pioneer in the delivery of renewable energy via containerized batteries on existing freight rail networks, visited the Green Port – the Port of Long Beach – to call attention to an innovative new strategy that could reshape the landscape of energy distribution and contribute significantly to a greener, more sustainable future.

SunTrain’s innovative approach, known as “Trainsmission,” capitalizes on the efficiency and reliability of the nation’s existing rail network. By utilizing railcars carrying containerized batteries, SunTrain can transport and deliver more than a Gigawatt-hour of green energy per train trip. This innovative approach offers a cost-effective and rapid solution to transmission bottlenecks and the lack of utility-scale energy storage that has plagued the renewable energy sector.

The Port of Long Beach, a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety, environmental stewardship, and sustainability, provides an ideal backdrop for SunTrain’s debut. Voted “Best West Coast Seaport,” the Port handles trade valued at $200 billion annually and supports millions of jobs across the Nation. The Port’s commitment to efficiency, sustainability, and innovation aligns perfectly with SunTrain’s mission to revolutionize renewable energy distribution.

By welcoming today’s largest vessels and serving 175 shipping lines with connections to 217 seaports worldwide, the Port of Long Beach is a crucial player in the global supply chain. In 2022, the Port handled more than 9.1 million container units, marking one of its busiest years in history.

In 2022, California curtailed nearly 30 terawatt-hours of renewable energy due to infrastructure and energy storage limitations, enough to power 4.75 million homes for a year. SunTrain aims to mitigate these issues with its innovative Trainsmission technology. Utilizing existing freight rail networks, SunTrain will deliver stored energy to regions facing grid congestion and lacking deployed green energy. This approach not only addresses the duck curve and utility-scale energy storage shortages, but it further reduces the infrastructure investment necessary for expensive, new transmission lines.

SunTrain is working toward creating a modern, efficient, and sustainable energy transmission network. With the Port of Long Beach demonstration, SunTrain marks a significant step toward a greener, more sustainable future, addressing the pressing need for additional energy storage systems and efficient renewable energy distribution.

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About SunTrain 

SunTrain resolves massive transmission bottlenecks that are throttling renewable energy generation. SunTrain seamlessly stores green energy from remote solar and wind farms within customized battery containers that are transported over existing railroad networks. This links generation sites and congested substation nodes, bypassing the conventional transmission system. According to the DoE’s 2023 Transmission Study, the U.S. requires 115,000 gigawatt-miles of new transmission lines by 2040, double its current capacity. SunTrain solves these colossal problems through a new means of green energy distribution: “trainsmission”. SunTrain serves regions where energy storage is nearly nonexistent and new traditional hard-wired transmission lines face insurmountable obstacles.

About the Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach is a global leader in green port initiatives and top-notch customer service, moving cargo with reliability, speed and efficiency. As the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade, the Port handles trade valued at $200 billion annually and supports 2.6 million jobs across the United States, including 575,000 in Southern California and 1 in 5 jobs in Long Beach. In 2022, industry leaders named it “The Best West Coast Seaport in North America” for the fourth consecutive year. The Port had its second-busiest year ever in 2022, with 9.13 million twenty-foot equivalent units handled. During the next 10 years, the Port is planning $2.2 billion in capital improvements aimed at enhancing capacity, competitiveness and sustainability. 


“Standing at the intersection of innovation and sustainability, SunTrain’s demo at the Port of Long Beach signals a bold step toward a cleaner energy horizon,” said SunTrain Founder and CTO Christopher Smith. “‘Trainsmission’ showcases our dedication to overcoming the obstacles hindering renewable energy distribution. Partnering with visionaries like the Port of Long Beach and IBEW Local 11, SunTrain is paving the way for a more efficient, cost-effective, and climate friendly future.”

“As the Green Port, we are always searching for new technologies and systems to improve the environment,” said Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero. “We are interested in learning more about the potential of the SunTrain project to expand the means of renewable energy distribution.”

“The SunTrain initiative stands at the forefront of IBEW Local 11’s strategic advancements in the field of renewable energy,” said Joel Barton, Business Manager of IBEW Local 11. “We take immense pride in helping birthplace this groundbreaking concept, which is set to revolutionize the green energy sector. Our commitment to nurturing and supporting SunTrain’s growth is unwavering, as it embarks on a path to address and solve critical challenges in sustainable energy.”

“Pacific Harbor Line, Inc. (PHL), which recently transitioned its fleet of Tier-3 plus locomotives in the San Pedro Bayport Complex to renewable diesel, is thrilled having been a part of the last mile placement and participation of Union Pacific Railroads (UPRR) partnership with SunTrain at the Port of Long Beach (POLB). SunTrain brings renewable energy by way of high-capacity batteries charged at solar and wind farms located outside urban areas to the POLB. Through partnership SunTrain and UPRR look forward to utilizing its rail system to employ 100-car unit trains to move the high-capacity batteries, thus transforming the rail network into transmission lines which can provide up to 2 GWh of power per train,” – Otis Cliatt, President of Pacific Harbor Line.

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