New York State’s largest solar + storage carport breaks ground at JFK airport

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New York State’s largest onsite solar plus storage project – a solar carport canopy at JFK International Airport – has begun construction.

Once the solar carport comes online, it will help power the AirTrain and reduce electricity costs for residents of low-income neighborhoods in Queens.

The solar carport will be in JFK’s long-term parking lot 9, providing covered parking for 3,000 vehicles. The 12-megawatt (MW) solar canopy will feature enough solar panels to cover the equivalent of 11 football fields and include a 6-MW community solar generation facility.

The project will also include 7.5 MW of battery storage that will be used during peak energy use periods.

The Port Authority and the New York Power Authority contracted TotalEnergies to build and operate JFK’s newest solar project, which is expected to come online in phases in 2025 and 2026.

Phase 1 will deliver energy to the airport starting in March 2025. Phase 2 is the community solar project and will deliver energy to utility Con Edison for the surrounding community beginning in April 2026. The project will provide guaranteed electric bill savings for 25 years to historically disadvantaged and environmentally impacted households. 

When complete, the JFK solar carport will produce enough clean energy to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 6,000 tons annually – equivalent to the emissions of around 1,500 gas cars per yer.

Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole said, “As the first US 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 create economic opportunity.”

Additional solar projects are planned at JFK airport – the new Terminal 1 and Terminal 6 will include rooftop solar arrays.

Read more: New York City’s largest public EV charging station is headed to JFK


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