The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has secured permission from the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to set up solar power projects at John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

The PSC’s permission means the Port Authority will now join hands with New York Power Authority (NYPA) to establish more than 10MW of on-site solar facilities at JFK, including a 5MW solar generation plant that will provide electricity at reduced rates to local communities.

Development of solar power projects at the JKF will take place at the airport’s long-term parking space.

Upon successful commissioning, the project will also help the Port Authority to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets of 35% by 2025 and long-term reduction goal of 80% by 2050.

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JFK’s solar plant is likely to cut CO2 emissions by 4,374 tonnes per annum.

“New York state has ambitious clean energy goals that require the smart, aggressive development of renewable energy.”

Priority will be given to local people, especially low-income groups, to purchase solar-generated renewable energy at a cheap rate compared to their normal utility bill.

New York State Public Service Commission chair John Rhodes said: “The Port Authority’s ambitious solar development plans represent a true success story. New York state has ambitious clean energy goals that require the smart, aggressive development of renewable energy.

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“Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced the landmark green new deal which mandates 100% clean power by 2040. This Port Authority project will support the achievement of these goals as well as promote the commission’s interest in increasing access to clean energy in the local community.”

In October last year, the Port Authority board signed the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first transportation agency in the US to do so. The Port Authority’s office of environmental and energy programmes subsequently solicited proposals from developers for the JFK solar project.

The Port Authority and NYPA officials requested PSC to accept a petition for the project due to lack of clarity in the applicable electricity tariff.

There are now plans for the Port Authority to sign a lease agreement with a solar developer to develop a 5MW community solar project at the JKF.

The Port Authority will also develop an additional 5MW-8MW solar system at the site for its own consumption at JFK.