Solar power developments given green light at JFK Airport

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The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a series of renewable solar power projects at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, which will help the airport meet its aggressive targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG).

The approval enables the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), in collaboration with New York Power Authority (NYPA), to move forward with plans to create more than 10MW of on-site solar facilities at JFK, including a 5MW solar generation facility that will offer power at reduced rates to nearby communities.

Residents, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods, would have first access to purchase solar-generated renewable energy at a reduced rate from their normal utility bill. The facility would be sited on a portion of JFK’s long-term parking lot.

Kevin O’Toole, PANYNJ chairman, said, “The implementation of community solar energy is growing and will now be accessible for homeowners and renters around JFK. The Port Authority will continue designing similar programs that are intended to support communities that seek renewable energy, while reducing emissions across the agency.”

Rick Cotton, executive director, PANYNJ, added, “Creating a major solar power project is an important step for PANYNJ’s mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what’s more, it will benefit the community surrounding JFK Airport. Community solar power at JFK builds on Governor Cuomo’s sustainability efforts at the state level, while enhancing the agency’s capability to be a good neighbor by helping nearby residents obtain more affordable and cleaner energy.”

The community solar project is part of the agency’s interim target to lower GHG emissions 35% by 2025 and its long-term reduction goal of 80% by 2050. JFK’s solar initiative is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 4,374 tons annually.

PANYNJ expects to develop the community solar project by entering into a lease agreement with a solar developer. In addition to the 5MW community solar project, PANYNJ will seek to develop an additional 5-8MW solar system for the airport’s own consumption.

The community solar developer would design, build, own, operate and maintain the system, and arrange sales of the electricity to residents. Solar panels would be placed atop a canopy structure built over a portion of the parking area. The agency would receive a regular lease payment from the community solar developer.

Interested in sustainability? Check out the ‘Environment & Sustainability’ stream at the Passenger Terminal Conference, which takes place during Passenger Terminal Expo, on March 26, 27 and 28, 2019, in London.

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Dan joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As assistant editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editors with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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