Slowly Emerging from Stealth
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 a plethora of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
SunTrain is a groundbreaking “Green Energy-by-Rail” solution that uses existing rail capacity to move clean energy from remote renewable sources to end use customers.
What is 'Trainsmission'?
Trainsmission is the concept of transporting high-capacity batteries rail to load centers. In partnership with our rail partners X and Y, Suntrain is prepared to deliver large amounts of energy using mostly existing rail resources.
Christopher D. Smith
Founder & CEO
Christopher D. Smith, SunTrain’s CEO since 2021, resolves transmission bottlenecks for green energy proliferation. With a decade’s experience in California’s renewable energy projects, he holds degrees in Energy Business and Finance, along with technical degrees from Solar Energy International. PMP and NABCEP-certified, he volunteers for EVITP and ESAMTAC, contributing to industry training programs.
Rik Wehbring is managing director at the venture capital firm Planetary Technologies whose mission is to find scalable solutions that can help the world mature beyond fossil fuels at the pace necessary to avoid unsustainable warming. He has been an entrepreneur, systems engineer, and founder of multiple startups and has an extensive technical and operational background developed over 20 years of working in Silicon Valley. Wehbring earned an MEng in Electrical Engineering, as well as a BA in Physics with Distinction, from Cornell University.
- What is SunTrain?
SunTrain is a groundbreaking “Green Energy-by-Rail” solution that uses existing rail capacity to move clean energy from remote renewable sources to end users.
- Why Does California need SunTrain
In California, inadequate transmission and storage capacity led to the waste of 30 terawatt-hours of renewable energy, enough to power 4.5 million homes for a year. SunTrain offers a solution to capture that wasted energy and deliver it where it is needed, thereby reducing emissions and avoiding expensive investments in electrical transmission that make many renewable energy projects unviable.
- What is 'Trainsmission'?
Trainsmission is the concept of transporting high-capacity batteries via rail to load centers. In partnership with our rail partners X and Y, SunTrain is prepared to deliver large amounts of energy using existing rail resources.
- What is the Goal of SunTrain in Relation to National Emission Targets?
SunTrain aims to help achieve the national goal of net zero emissions in the power sector by 2035.
- How does SunTrain's Technology Work?
SunTrain employs unit trains with high-capacity batteries that charge at solar and wind farms located outside urban areas. The energy stored in these batteries is then transported to via existing rail lines and discharged at power-intensive destinations.
- What is SunTrain's Vision for the Future of Rail and Renewable Energy?
SunTrain envisions a future where rail transportation plays a pivotal role in efficiently transporting renewable energy, reducing emissions, and benefiting the environment.
- How does SunTrain Benefit the Port of Long Beach (PoLB)?
SunTrain can provide the PoLB with substantial renewable energy, which could power its electric vehicles, heavy equipment and even provide shore power for ships berthing at the docks, all at a lower cost than traditional power sources.
- What is the Purpose of SunTrain-PoLB Proof of Concept Demonstration Project?
The demonstration event aims to showcase the feasibility of loading renewable energy into high-capacity batteries, transporting it via rail, and discharging the power at an urban, high-demand destination, as a proof of concept for SunTrain’s technology.