Powering Strong Communities

NYPA Selects Developer for Solar Arrays To Supply To Empire State Plaza

New York State’s Office of General Services (OGS) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently selected a developer for several remote solar arrays that will help power the Empire State Plaza, a complex of several state government buildings in downtown Albany. 

The solar arrays, which will be located in central New York’s Oneida County, are part of an extensive energy efficiency plan for the Empire State Plaza. The plaza plans to follow the state’s goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040. 

OGS and NYPA have selected DG Development & Acquisitions, an Albany-based subsidiary of NextEra—a leader in wind and solar energy production—to develop more than 30 megawatts of solar generation near the former Oneida County Airport in Oriskany, with the power benefiting the plaza in Albany. 

Officials said the land near the former airport was selected due to its size of about 1,100 acres. 

NYPA president and CEO Gil Quiniones said the project is a key component of OGS’ and NYPA’s plan to improve reliability and sustainability at the plaza. 

“The development of this massive solar project in Oriskany will be the largest concentration of distributed-scale solar generation in New York State, providing a significant benefit to the state and the Empire State Plaza in Albany,” Quiniones said. 

In 2019, NYPA and OGS completed a thorough evaluation of energy options for the Empire State Plaza. The two entities worked together to conduct a series of technical reviews, several community listening sessions, and meetings with neighborhood associations. 

The solar array development is currently in the design phase. The installation of the arrays is expected to begin in 2022 and end in 2023. 

In addition, more than $16 million in LED lighting fixtures will be installed throughout the complex to reduce energy use.

OGS and NYPA have additional plans to conduct a comprehensive energy audit of the plaza to determine what further projects need to be taken into consideration, and continue to align operations with the state’s long-term environmental goals.