NYC’s Largest Solar Roof Advances

A 2020 start is planned for the 4,000-panel installation at the Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan.

New York Power Authority has selected Siemens to design and install a 1.4-megawatt solar system on the green rooftop of the 17-story, LEED Silver-certified Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side. This will turn into New York City’s largest rooftop solar generation project to date, which will offset the building’s electric load while supporting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal—a clean energy and jobs agenda for 100 percent carbon-free electricity in New York by 2040 and a ramp up for 70 percent of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030.

More than 4,000 solar panels will be built over the HVAC units on the Javits Center’s roof so as to not impact plants on the building’s rooftop. An additional street-level solar array would be built on 11th Avenue. Led by New York Power Authority, the project is estimated to offset more than 1.3 million pounds of carbon emissions per year, which is equivalent to removing 262 cars from the road.

Asserting on sustainability

In 2014, Javits Center completed a comprehensive renovation that included a 6.8-acre green roof, one of the largest of its kind in the country. Complete with metering and sensors to control and customize temperatures throughout the facility, the new roof led to a 26 percent reduction in energy consumption. In addition, the roof—which will lower the temperatures around the arrays and result in a more holistic and efficient—also serves as a sanctuary for wildlife, providing a habitat for more than 26 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honey bees.

Siemens—which has been a partner with Javits Center since its construction in 1986, providing building automation, fire safety and security technology—will own, maintain and operate the solar array. NYPA is set to purchase the produced energy and in turn sells it to Javits Center through a back-to-back power purchase agreement. Battery storage may also be included and will be determined at the completion of project design. Construction is expected to begin in early 2020.

“New York State is leading the nation in advancing bold actions for a cleaner, greener energy system that also spurs economic growth,” Governor Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “Installing solar technology on the roof of the busiest convention center in the U.S. sets an industry standard for venues throughout New York and across the nation on how best to embrace renewable energy.”

“The Javits Center is the busiest convention center in the U.S.—and the perfect place to model a swift transition off of fossil fuels with New York City’s largest rooftop solar project. Climate change isn’t waiting for us, so we can’t afford to wait to prevent its worst impacts,” added Senator Brad Holyman.

Images courtesy of NYGovCuomo

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