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HomeRenewablesTotalEnergies breaks ground on 12-MW solar + storage system at JFK Airport

TotalEnergies breaks ground on 12-MW solar + storage system at JFK Airport

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York Power Authority began construction of New York State’s largest onsite solar + storage project: a solar carport canopy at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Once operational, the solar carport project will generate electricity to help power the AirTrain and to reduce electricity costs for residents of low-income neighborhoods in Queens. Located in the airport’s long-term parking lot 9, the JFK solar carport will be erected as a canopy, providing the added benefit of covered parking for 3,000 vehicles.

“We are breaking ground on a game-changing solar project, which will give power to the AirTrain and support thousands of families in Queens,” Gov. Hochul said. “Supporting local minority- and women-owned businesses, this project will deepen our investment in the community while pushing forward New York’s nation-leading climate goals.”

The Port Authority, in partnership with the New York Power Authority, has contracted TotalEnergies to build and operate the JFK International Airport solar project. With enough solar panels to cover an area large enough for 11 football fields, the solar carport will generate approximately 12 MW of onsite power and will include a 6-MW community solar generation facility. The project will also include 7.5 MW of battery storage that will be used to help reduce airport energy use during peak periods.

Governor Hochul cited the JFK solar carport and battery storage project in her 2024 State of the State message as an example of New York’s transformative infrastructure projects. The JFK solar carport is also consistent with the Governor’s climate agenda, which calls for a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy in a way that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that a robust share of clean energy investments is directed to disadvantaged communities. As with all Port Authority capital projects, development of the solar carport will adhere to the 30% goal for participation by minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

“Building New York’s largest solar carport at JFK significantly advances the Port Authority’s goal of reducing our agency’s carbon footprint to net zero while sharing the benefit of our historic investments at the airport with neighboring communities. When complete, a fully transformed JFK will take its place as a world-class airport that is efficient, beautiful and sustainable,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton.

The project will be built in two phases. Phase 1 will deliver energy to the airport starting in March 2025. Phase 2 is the community solar project and will deliver energy to Con Edison for the surrounding community beginning in April 2026. Through the NYS Community Distributed Generation Program, the project will provide guaranteed electric bill savings for 25 years to historically disadvantaged and environmentally impacted households. The community benefit addresses the disparity in access to clean energy among lower-income communities. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, households that have difficulty paying their energy bills also typically face higher energy costs – about 20 percent higher per square foot than the national average.

The project is a significant milestone for the Port Authority’s industry-leading sustainability agenda. On-site solar and other renewable energy initiatives are among seven key areas that the agency’s overall sustainability program encompasses, along with clean electric vehicles; energy efficiency; “green” facilities; clean ship practices for ocean-going vessels; offshore wind and partnering to combat climate change.

A variety of solar projects are currently in operation across Port Authority facilities, including a 5-MW solar parking canopy at Newark Airport, a 1.5-MW rooftop solar array on LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B garage, and a 600-kW solar roof on a PATH warehouse rooftop. Additional solar projects are planned at JFK airport, where construction of a new Terminal 1 and a new Terminal 6 will include rooftop arrays of solar panels that will generate power at the airport.

NYPA is also implementing a $4 million project for the Port Authority that includes the installation of energy efficient LED fixtures throughout the airport’s Hangar 19 and the replacement of the AirTrain’s track heater controls that will allow Port Authority to remotely monitor and control track heaters at every AirTrain station, including at the Jamaica station in Queens. Sixteen electric vehicle chargers are also being installed for Delta to power plane tugs and baggage loaders. An earlier project completed 120 chargers at Terminal 5 for Jet Blue fleets.

News item from NYPA

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