Sunpower and Goldman Sachs awarded New York City’s single-largest solar energy project at JFK International Airport

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that New York City’s single-largest solar energy project, an installation at John F. Kennedy International Airport, has been awarded to SunPower Corporation and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group.

SunPower is the solar developer and contractor for the infrastructure to be built. The financial partner, Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group, will hold the power purchase agreement. BlueWave Solar will assist in providing the surrounding airport community with affordable access to clean electricity produced by the solar system by managing the associated subscriptions and billing.

Developed in partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the JFK International Airport Solar Photovoltaic Project will generate approximately 13 megawatts of onsite solar and approximately 7.5 megawatts of battery storage, including a 6.1-megawatt community solar generation facility.

The rest of the solar energy produced will be used onsite at JFK, offsetting the Port Authority’s purchase of conventional electricity sources. In addition to being the single-largest solar project in New York City, it is the largest planned community solar project at an airport in the United States.

The project encompasses Building 141 and Long Term Parking Lot 9. Building 141 will host approximately 1 megawatt of rooftop solar, and Lot 9 will host more than 13 megawatts of solar and approximately 7.5 megawatts of energy storage.

The projects will reduce the airport’s demand for fossil fuel-generated electricity and add resiliency to the AirTrain system. In total, this project will reduce the Port Authority’s greenhouse gas emissions at JFK by approximately 10 percent.

Additionally, the electricity provided to the grid through this project will provide small business and residents near JFK the opportunity to utilize renewable energy at discounted prices.

The installation is a key element in the Port Authority’s aggressive effort to implement solar and other renewable energy sources to its power operations and reflects the agency’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. It is expected to reduce JFK greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 6,699 tons annually, the equivalent of taking 1,422 cars off the road each year.

The JFK renewable energy program is part of the Port Authority’s goal of reducing the agency’s greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2025 and advance its long-term goal of an 80-percent reduction in all emissions by 2050. The Port Authority became the first public transportation agency in October 2018 to adopt the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to such aggressive goals.

Governor Cuomo’s JFK Vision Plan, unveiled in January 2017, calls for transforming the airport into a world-class, 21st century transit hub by incorporating best-in-class technological innovations and passenger amenities, including advanced sustainable design and energy infrastructure, a unified terminal layout, and improved roadways, taxiways and AirTrain JFK system that will reduce congestion and air pollution.


Source: Press Release by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Photo Credit: JFK International Airport Aerial by formulanone via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).