Distributed Energy Resources

Port Authority, NYPA pursue solar and storage system at airport

The Port of Authority of New York and New Jersey and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently launched a solicitation to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy storage system at New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) in the southern Hudson Valley.

The partnership will bring additional renewable energy sources online to power operations for the New Windsor airport in the Mid-Hudson region’s Orange County while also helping New York State achieve its clean energy goals, NYPA noted.

The project is expected to generate up to 2.25 megawatts of distributed solar, with an option for battery storage. The solar energy produced will be used onsite, offsetting the Port Authority’s purchase of conventional electricity. Installation of electric vehicle charging stations will also be evaluated for inclusion in the project, and the canopy structure will allow for covered parking for airport customers.

An optional community solar component, proposed as part of the project, could allow area residents and businesses to support locally generated power and get credit toward their electric bills.

The New York Stewart project supports Governor Andrew Cuomo’s clean energy initiative to reduce greenhouse gases 40% by 2030 and produce 100% of New York’s electricity using clean energy resources by 2040.

The request for proposals (RFP) is seeking developers to design, construct, finance and own a solar energy system consisting of a series of arrays, which would be constructed on canopies at least 14 feet high over a portion of the long-term parking lot at the airport.

The project design must comply with Federal Aviation Administration parameters, including meeting solar glare hazard analysis guidelines. Parking lot customers will benefit from the covered parking lot during inclement and other extreme weather.

Depending on the proposals received, the project may also be structured as a community distributed generation solar system. This can potentially generate revenue in the form of lease payments and guaranteed credit savings from subscriptions. Up to 40 percent of the energy can be sold through subscription agreements to local residents and business owners. Priority would be given to the local New York Stewart community, minority/women-owned businesses, and disabled veteran-owned businesses.

The system will be hosted by the Port Authority and owned, maintained and operated by the selected solar developer with no upfront costs to PANYNJ or NYPA. The Port Authority will enter into a power purchase agreement to buy the electricity generated by the system.

The Port Authority and NYPA are also working on a project that will become New York City’s largest solar energy project. The solar project is an installation at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which has been award to SunPower Corporation and Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group.

Once completed, the project will allow neighboring communities to access solar energy plans at reduced rates.

Two possible design concepts for the Stewart project are viewable here.