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New York Governor Hochul Announces Groundbreaking for New York State’s Largest Solar Carport and Battery Storage System at JFK Airport

Parking Lot Canopy with Solar Panels and Accompanying Battery Storage System Will Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Approximately 6,000 Metric Tons Annually. The 12-Megawatt Solar Project will Reduce Airport Energy Use at Peak Hours and Support the Port Authority’s 2050 Net Zero Goal Across the Agency.
In Addition to Supplying Power to JFK, Nearby Low-Income Communities will Benefit with Discounted Clean Energy Produced by the Airport Solar Project. TotalEnergies, World’s Leading Solar Power Developer, to Build, Own and Operate JFK’s Solar Carport Project.
Project will be Constructed by a Public-Private Partnership with Upfront Construction Costs Entirely Provided by Private Partner. Construction will Adhere to Port Authority’s Goal of 30 Percent Participation by MWBE Firms.

Governor Kathy Hochul today 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 plus 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,” Governor 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, a global leader in solar power, 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 megawatts of onsite power and will include a 6-megawatt community solar generation facility. The project will also include 7.5 megawatts of battery storage that will be used to help reduce airport energy use during peak periods. When complete, the JFK solar carport will produce enough clean energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6,000 tons annually – the greenhouse gas equivalent of 26 million miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle – and will contribute substantially to the Port Authority’s goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the agency’s facilities by 2050. Additionally, the project will enable designated low-income communities in Queens to support clean energy and to save on their utility bills.

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 percent goal for participation by minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “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.”

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said, “As the first U.S. transportation agency to commit to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, we have made sustainability a key part of our strategy for building 21st century airports across the region. At JFK, Newark-Liberty and LaGuardia airports, we are advancing solar technology as a way to reduce emissions, lower costs and to create economic opportunity.”

President and CEO of the Power Authority Justin E. Driscoll said, “JFK will be the largest solar and storage carport project in New York State, serving as a high-visibility example of integrating renewable energy sources into facility operations and significantly reducing carbon emissions. Residents in nearby underserved communities will save on their electric bills and the entire state of New York will take a significant step toward a more sustainable energy future.”

Managing Director TotalEnergies Renewables USA Marc-Antoine Pignon said, “As a top developer of renewables in the U.S. and worldwide, TotalEnergies is honored to support New York’s clean energy transition with this landmark solar carport and storage project at one of the nation’s largest airports. We applaud Governor Hochul, PANYNJ and NYPA for their leadership on this unique project, which will not only make clean power accessible to millions of travelers who pass through JFK Airport each year, but also reduce electricity costs for residents of low-income neighborhoods in Queens.”

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-kilowatt 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. The measures will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 960 metric tons. 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.

Representative Gregory W. Meeks said, “The JFK Solar Carport Project brings us one step closer to a more sustainable future. I’m grateful for the Port Authority and the New York Power Authority’s leadership in spearheading a project that will reduce electricity costs for low-income residents across New York. We must continue to make critical investments into our local communities that increase quality of life and protect the environment for the next generation.”

State Senator Leroy Comrie said, “By launching this revolutionary solar and battery project at JFK Airport, which illustrates our dedication to sustainable energy and healthier air, we are making everyday Earth Day. This project will help save energy costs in addition to reducing pollution. Together with the Port Authority, the New York Power Authority, and TotalEnergies, New York is shining as it moves towards preserving the planet. I also look forward to the strong efforts of MWBEs who will be collaborating on this project. I commend the collaborating partners for their participation and Governor Hochul for her leadership.”

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. said, “Today’s groundbreaking of the JFK solar carport project marks a significant step forward in creating efficiency and opportunity for New York State. This innovative project not only generates clean power for the airport and reduces electricity costs for residents, but it also creates jobs and economic growth in our communities. By harnessing the power of solar energy and storage, we are not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also paving the way for a more sustainable future for generations to come.”

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “The proposed development of a solar carport and battery storage system at JFK Airport marks a potentially significant step in New York State’s commitment to renewable energy. While this project has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support cleaner energy initiatives, it’s important to critically evaluate the financial implications, logistical complexities, and long-term benefits for all stakeholders. We’re committed to thorough analysis to ensure this project aligns with New York State’s sustainability goals and offers a responsible return on investment.

Assemblymember Alicia L. Hyndman said, “Governor Hochul heralds historic milestone with the commencement of New York State’s largest solar carport and battery storage system at JFK Airport. This groundbreaking project, led by TotalEnergies, will slash greenhouse gas emissions by 6,000 metric tons annually, benefiting both the airport and nearby low-income communities. With a commitment to sustainability and equity, this initiative marks a significant step towards achieving the Port Authority’s 2050 net zero goal. We are proud to lead the charge towards a greener and more resilient future for New York.”

Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, “Today’s groundbreaking demonstrates how we can creatively utilize our existing infrastructure to meet rising energy demands and reduce emissions. This project shows how we can harness the potential of solar to meet our climate obligations. I applaud the Port Authority for taking this important step towards their net zero goal.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr said, “With the World’s Borough in the midst of becoming a world leader in clean energy, this transformative solar panel project at Kennedy Airport — in the midst of its own historic nearly $20 billion redevelopment — will bring us one step closer toward the realization of that mission. Queens already led the city in solar panel installations prior to this initiative, so it’s only right that state’s largest solar carport being located right here in Southeast Queens. Thank you to Governor Hochul, the Port Authority and all our partners for bringing this project to life and for ensuring the families who live just beyond the airport are the ones who benefit the most from it.”

NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers said, “Southeast Queens has become home to the state’s largest solar plus storage project, and this expansive project has the potential to be an invaluable addition for residents in my neighborhood by helping to cut utility costs and investing in renewable energy for our community. I look forward to working with the Governor and seeing the final product.”

City Council Member Nantasha Williams said, “This 12MW solar project is a significant step toward the environmental goals of the State of New York and I commend the Port Authority for this milestone in their 2050 journey to net-zero. 6,000 metric tons of less pollutants in our community’s lungs and our climate is something to celebrate.”

Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson said, “This solar plus storage project will mitigate the impact of heat, reduce harmful GHG emissions, and decrease energy cost burden by offering community solar to environmental justice communities. Strong collaborations between city and state are essential to advancing novel ideas in climate, animating the markets for solar and energy storage systems, and ensuring a just transition for all.”

President of the New York League of Conservation Voters Julie Tighe said, “NYLCV applauds Governor Hochul and the Port Authority for turning plans into action. The solar carport and battery energy storage system being built at JFK Airport demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships and is a great example of how innovative renewable energy projects stand to benefit local neighborhoods, especially low-income communities.”

Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment Adrienne Esposito said, “This is an ideal and exciting location for a solar carport and battery storage system. Instead of the sun shining down and heating up cars, it will shine down and provide clean power! Critically needed parking lots take up a tremendous amount of land however, siting solar carports on large open parking lots maximizes the beneficial use of this land, keep cars cooler, and generates clean power for peak demand times. This is a smart project, and we hope to see more of them in the future. Congratulations to all the Partners and the Port Authority of NY & NJ on a well-sited, meaningful renewable energy project.”

Executive Director of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association Noah Ginsburg said, “New York Solar Energy Industries Association congratulates the Port Authority for breaking ground on this impactful distributed solar and energy storage project. Five years after the passage of the Climate Act, New York is still dangerously dependent on fossil fuels. Constructing solar carports paired with energy storage in New York City will reduce air pollution from fossil fuels and support good solar industry jobs while delivering utility bill savings to the Port Authority and to low-income residents from the surrounding community.”

About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit  www.nypa.gov  and follow us on  Twitter,  FacebookInstagramTumblr  and  LinkedIn.

About TotalEnergies

TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company that produces and markets energies: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity. Our more than 100,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, more sustainable, more reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in nearly 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people. As part of its ambition to get to net zero by 2050, TotalEnergies is building a world class cost-competitive portfolio combining renewables (solar, onshore and offshore wind) and flexible assets (CCGT, storage) to deliver clean firm power to its customers. At the end of 2023, TotalEnergies’ gross renewable electricity generation installed capacity was 22 GW. TotalEnergies will continue to expand this business to reach 35 GW in 2025 and more than 100 TWh of net electricity production by 2030.

About the Port Authority

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a bi-state agency that builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. For over a century, the agency’s network of major airports; critical bridges, tunnels and bus terminals; a commuter rail line; and the busiest seaport on the East Coast has been among the most vital in the country – transporting hundreds of millions of people and moving essential goods into and out of the region. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center campus, which today welcomes tens of thousands of office workers and millions of annual visitors. The agency’s historic $37 billion 10-year capital plan includes unprecedented transformation of the region’s three major airports – LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK – as well as an array of other new and upgraded assets, including the $2 billion renovation of the 90-year-old George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority’s annual budget of $8 billion includes no tax revenue from either the states of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, visit www.panynj.gov or check out the Now Arriving blog.

April 23 2024 Governor’s Press Office Albany NY

Source: Midtown Tribune newsgovernor.ny.gov/

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