The California High-Speed Rail Authority has announced that the state’s long-awaited high-speed train project will be powered by solar energy. The project aims to create 800 miles (1288 kilometers) of high-speed rail track.

The high-speed train project was initially touted as a revolutionary transportation system that would grow to span the entire continent. However, it has been plagued by delays and escalating costs. Elon Musk has predicted that the California high-speed train will be one of the slowest and most expensive bullet trains in the world.

The estimated price tag has soared to 128 billion USD, far exceeding the original 33 billion USD estimate. Despite these setbacks, the solar energy announcement reveals the Authority’s renewed focus on making high-speed rail an environmentally friendly alternative to cars and planes.

The Authority is aiming to set up 552 acres of solar panels that will generate approximately 44 megawatts of energy. Onboard batteries will store 62 megawatt hours of power. In addition to propelling the train, the solar energy will be used as a power reserve in case of utility failure.

The Authority is currently in talks with energy suppliers to secure a 200 million USD utility-scale system that it will own and operate.

The high-speed rail project is being implemented in 10 phases. It’ll eventually connect San Diego to Sacramento. The current focus is on constructing 119 miles (192 kilometers) of track between Merced and Anaheim.

2030 is the target opening date for the initial segment of the railway. The Authority wants to begin work on the solar power system no later than 2026.