JFK Airport to be home to largest rooftop terminal solar array in the U.S.

JFK Airport AlphaStruxure solar array microgrid

AlphaStruxure is planning to create the largest rooftop terminal solar array in the United States. A joint venture between Carlyle Group and Schneider Electric, the company has agreed design, construct and operate integrated microgrid infrastructure at the New Terminal One (NTO) at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

The 11.34 MW microgrid will include 7.66 MW of rooftop solar, 3.68 MW of fuel cells, 2 MW/4 MWh of battery energy storage. The microgrid will consist of four “power islands,” with each island functioning as a local, integrated energy system with sources of generation, storage, advanced automation and control. The rooftop PV system will have more than 13,000 solar panels. The project will feature the largest rooftop solar array in New York City, and on any airport terminal in the United States, with all available and viable rooftop areas being used for solar. 

The NTO project represents a consortium of labor, operating and financial partners, including Ferrovial, Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure and Ullico. The group is building a privately financed all-international terminal at JFK, in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The 2.4 million-square-foot terminal will serve as a global gateway to the New York metropolitan area and is estimated to generate more than 10,000 jobs. The first gates are expected to be open in 2026, with full completion anticipated by 2030.

Upon project completion, NTO will be the first energy resilient airport transit hub in the New York region that can function independently of the power grid, to maintain 100% of airport operations during power disruptions across the 23 gates and more than 177,000 square feet of dining, retail, lounges and recreational space.

The microgrid will be delivered to New Terminal One stakeholders by AlphaStruxure, which designs, builds, owns, operates and maintains tailored energy infrastructure. As strategic partners for the project, Carlyle is financing the microgrid, while Schneider Electric is delivering leading microgrid technology, software and services. The project is delivered through an energy as a service (EaaS) contract, a long-term agreement ensuring predictable operating costs and guaranteed performance without upfront capital expenditures.

“This New Terminal One infrastructure project illuminates a new pathway to decarbonizing the air transportation sector. We’re thrilled to provide a holistic microgrid solution that will keep NTO powered through outages and advance the city, state and Port Authority’s ambitious decarbonization goals,” said Juan Macias, CEO of AlphaStruxure. “This project is paving the way for all transportation hubs and municipalities across the country. Not only is it about resilient energy, it’s about decarbonization, risk transfer, and cost predictability via the Energy as a Service business model.”

The NTO project demonstrates how the energy as a service financing model can shape decarbonization in the transit sector, according to Pooja Goyal, chief investment officer of Carlyle’s global infrastructure business. 

“We believe this is the kind of energy infrastructure that’s needed throughout the country to become more resilient to outages while providing a path to work toward achieving sustainability goals,” Goyal said.  

The system’s performance is managed by AlphaStruxure’s Integrate, a cyber-secure digital platform that optimizes microgrid operations by compiling and analyzing data across the on-site energy infrastructure. With an intelligent microgrid in place, the terminal will work toward eliminating power disruptions while maximizing distributed energy resources for resilience.

“Sustainability and resilience have been core values for the New Terminal One, and we are proud to unveil our partnership with AlphaStruxure to achieve these goals,” said Dr. Gerrard Bushell, CEO of the New Terminal One Development at JFK. “This is future-focused infrastructure that will facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels and sets a new standard for large-scale renewable development in New York and in the air transit sector.”  

AlphaStruxure’s microgrid solution is designed to achieve ambitious New York City, state and PANYNJ’s sustainability mandates, and will contribute towards the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) requiring 70% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

“Microgrids solve two of the most serious challenges, resilience and decarbonization, with a single solution,” said Annette Clayton, CEO of Schneider Electric North America. “The New Terminal One project at JFK shows that Schneider Electric’s microgrid technology is ready to transform our nation’s most critical infrastructure, including one of the busiest airports in the country, into a sustainable airport of the future.”

— Solar Builder magazine

[source: https://solarbuildermag.com/projects/jfk-airport-largest-rooftop-terminal-solar-array-in-u-s/]


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