New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the selection of a developer to design and install up to 1.4 MW of solar on the rooftop of the Javits Center, located in Manhattan’s West Side.
Siemens, a technology company and infrastructure provider with nearly 4,000 employees across New York State, was selected in the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) competitive bid process and will now begin final designs and permitting for the rooftop project.
New York City’s largest rooftop solar generation project to date will offset the building’s electric load and directly support the governor’s Green New Deal.
“New York State is leading the nation in advancing bold actions for a cleaner, greener energy system that also spurs economic growth,” says Cuomo. “Installing solar technology on the roof of the busiest convention center in the United States sets an industry standard for venues throughout New York and across the nation on how best to embrace renewable energy.”
The project, led by NYPA, is estimated to offset more than 1.3 million pounds of carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to removing 262 cars from the road.
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO, says, “The New York Power Authority is pleased to partner with one of New York City’s most well-known and high-traffic buildings to bring New York State closer to achieving its clean energy goals. Installing a commercial-scale solar photovoltaic system on the Javits Center roof will lead to significant cost-savings and benefit the environment for years to come.”
On behalf of the Javits Center, as first announced by the governor in August 2018, NYPA issued a call for developers to submit proposals to design, construct and own a commercial-scale solar photovoltaic system through a power purchase agreement.
Siemens – which has been a partner with the Javits Center since its construction in 1986, providing building automation, fire safety and security technology – will own, maintain and operate the solar array while NYPA purchases the energy it produces and, in turn, sells it to the Javits Center through a back-to-back power purchase agreement. Battery storage may also be included in the project and will be determined at the completion of project design. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020.
More than 4,000 solar panels will be constructed over the HVAC units on the Javits Center’s green roof so as not to impact plants on the building’s rooftop. An additional street-level solar array would be constructed on 11th Ave.
A renovation completed in 2014 at the 17-story Javits Center included a 6.75-acre green roof. The green roof, complete with metering and sensors to control and customize temperatures throughout the facility, has led to more efficient operations, including a 26% reduction in energy consumption.
The green roof, which will lower ambient temperatures around the solar arrays, has also served as a sanctuary for area wildlife, providing a habitat for more than 26 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honey bees.
Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corp., which operates the Javits Center, says, “Our green roof has become a model of sustainability for buildings throughout the Empire State, and we are proud to work with the New York Power Authority to further expand our environmental impact. For more than 30 years, the Javits Center has served as an economic engine for New York, but with this project, we can continue to reinforce our reputation as an environmental beacon, serving as an inspiration to other venues nationwide.”
Photo: Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]