Largest New York City solar project – with battery – set for JFK Airport

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced this week that California solar company SunPower would develop a 13MW solar and 7.5MW battery storage project at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City – a project described as “a major step forward in meeting the agency’s aggressive sustainability goals.”

The 13 MW/7.5 MW project will include a 6.1MW community solar generation facility providing access to solar energy for local communities at reduced rates.

The remaining output from the project will be used onsite at JFK airport to help offset the Port Authority’s purchase of conventional electricity sources.

When operational, the JFK International Airport Solar Photovoltaic Project will be the single-largest solar project in New York City and the largest planned community solar project at any airport in the United States.

The project will also play a large part in the New York Port Authority’s efforts to implement solar and other renewable energy sources to power its operations around the city and honour its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Specifically, the Port Authority expects the project will reduce JFK Airport’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10%, or 6,699 tonnes annually – the equivalent of taking 1,422 cars off the road each year.

In the long term, the Port Authority is hoping to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent by 2025, and by 80 per cent by 2050.

“As the first transportation agency in the country to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement, the Port Authority is committed to integrating clean energy technology at all of its facilities,” said Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole.

“The Port Authority is excited to be part of this collaborative effort bringing together community stakeholders, government and private business to advance our regional sustainability goals.”

The JFK International Airport Solar Photovoltaic Project is being developed by SunPower in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group – the latter holding the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the project.

However, Boston-based solar company BlueWave Solar will assist in providing communities in the vicinity of the airport with access to affordable clean electricity produced by the new solar system and managing the associated subscriptions and billing.

“This is a landmark project that we are excited to support, and we commend the Port Authority and the New York Power Authority for bringing clean, affordable energy to JFK and the surrounding community,” said Jon Yoder, head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Renewable Power Group.

The project will be built atop Building 141 – which will host 1 MW of rooftop solar – and the Long Term Parking Lot 9 – which will host the remaining 13 MW of rooftop solar and the 7.5 MW energy storage project.

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