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Preparations launched for battery storage system and solar carport at JFK Airport

Governor Kathy Hochul revealed that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, along with the state authorities, has initiated the construction of the largest solar storage project in New York State: a solar carport for covered parking at JFK International Airport.

Upon completion, the solar carport initiative will produce electricity to support the AirTrain and alleviate electricity expenses for inhabitants of underserved areas in Queens. Situated in lot 9 of the airport's long-term parking area, the JFK solar carport will be constructed as a canopy, offering covered parking for up to 3,000 vehicles.

Equivalent to 11 football fields

The Port Authority, in collaboration with the New York Power Authority, has enlisted TotalEnergies to construct and oversee operations for the JFK International Airport solar initiative. Spanning an area equivalent to 11 football fields, the solar carport will boast enough solar panels to generate approximately 12 megawatts of onsite power, alongside a 6-megawatt community solar generation unit. Furthermore, the project will incorporate 7.5 megawatts of battery storage to assist in mitigating airport energy consumption during peak periods.

Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Once finalized, the JFK solar carport is expected to produce sufficient clean energy to curtail greenhouse gas emissions by over 6,000 tons annually, equivalent to the emissions from driving an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle for 26 million miles. This endeavor will significantly contribute to the Port Authority's objective of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its facilities by 2050. Moreover, the project will empower designated low-income communities in Queens to embrace clean energy and realize savings on their utility bills.

Governor’s climate agenda

Governor Hochul referenced the JFK solar carport and battery storage project in her 2024 State of the State address as a prime illustration of New York's groundbreaking infrastructure endeavors. The JFK solar carport is also in line with the Governor's climate agenda, which advocates for a shift from fossil fuels to clean energy sources, prioritizing the creation of sustainable jobs and fostering a green economy across all sectors. Furthermore, it ensures that a significant portion of clean energy investments is directed towards underserved communities. Similar to all capital projects overseen by the Port Authority, the development of the solar carport will meet the 30 percent participation target for minority- and women-owned businesses.

NYS Community Distributed Generation Program

The project will proceed in two phases. Phase 1, slated to commence in March 2025, will supply energy to the airport. Phase 2 involves the community solar initiative, which will commence in April 2026 and provide energy to Con Edison for the local community. Through the NYS Community Distributed Generation Program, the project will offer guaranteed electric bill savings for 25 years to historically disadvantaged and environmentally impacted households. This community benefit aims to rectify the inequity in clean energy access experienced by lower-income communities. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, households facing difficulties in paying their energy bills also tend to encounter higher energy costs—approximately 20 percent higher per square foot than the national average.

More renewable energy initiatives

The project marks a significant achievement for the Port Authority's sustainability agenda, which encompasses on-site solar and renewable energy initiatives among its seven key sustainability pillars. These pillars also include clean electric vehicles, energy efficiency, eco-friendly facilities, sustainable practices for ocean-going vessels, offshore wind projects, and collaborative efforts to combat climate change.

Currently, various solar projects are operational across Port Authority facilities, such as a 5-megawatt solar parking canopy at Newark Airport, a 1.5-megawatt rooftop solar array on LaGuardia Airport's Terminal B garage, and a 600-kilowatt solar roof on a PATH warehouse rooftop. Future solar projects are planned for JFK Airport, where the construction of new Terminal 1 and Terminal 6 will feature rooftop solar panel arrays to generate power on-site.

To renew equipment

NYPA is spearheading a $4 million initiative for the Port Authority, entailing the installation of energy-efficient LED fixtures across Hangar 19 at the airport. Additionally, the project involves upgrading the track heater controls for the AirTrain, enabling remote monitoring and control of track heaters at all AirTrain stations, including the Jamaica station in Queens. These measures are expected to slash annual greenhouse gas emissions by over 960 metric tons. Furthermore, sixteen electric vehicle chargers are being installed for Delta to power plane tugs and baggage loaders. Previously, a separate project was completed, installing 120 chargers at Terminal 5 for JetBlue fleets.


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