LaGuardia Airport solar installation advances Port Authority’s net zero commitment


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced the completion of a solar energy installation on the rooftop of a new parking garage. 3,500 solar panels will produce more than 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, advancing the agency’s net zero emissions’ targets announced in 2021.

The Port Authority was the first US transportation agency to adopt the Biden administration’s ambitious climate goals, which set new net-zero targets for all emissions by 2050. The agency also committed to cutting direct greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 through facility-wide sustainability initiatives.

The LaGuardia installation is the largest of seven New York and New Jersey Port Authority solar projects that now total more than 1,381 kilowatts of installed solar. Other projects in the works include a 4 MW solar canopy at Newark Liberty and a 12 MW solar parking canopy project at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“The Port Authority continues to look for ways to bring innovative technology to its facilities and here at LaGuardia Airport we are moving toward a greener future with the addition of thousands of new solar panels ready to power parts of the airport,” said Kevin O’Toole, Chairman at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The LaGuardia solar installation, completed in partnership with ForeFront Power, is expected to reduce energy consumption by 5% and generate more than 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of solar energy per year. That is enough to power 164 homes annually, offsetting nearly 400 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to 434,000 pounds of coal burned in one year.

“The visually stunning Terminal B is an inspiration. Seeing this beautiful new iteration of the airport helps one reimagine what is possible when combining modern, thoughtful architecture with a strong commitment to sustainability, including the 1.5-megawatt rooftop solar array that our team is proud to have built,” said Michael Smith, CEO of ForeFront Power.  Traveling through LaGuardia as a LEED-certified airport now powered by the sun does indeed feel like stepping the future.”

A power purchase agreement enabled the Port Authority to develop its project at no upfront cost and without using bond funds. In exchange, ForeFront Power will operate and maintain the system. The airport is the offtaker, and will pay a fixed, below-market rate for electricity, which is locked in for the 20-year duration of the agreement.

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