Solar power canopy at JFK long-term parking lot to help power AirTrain, nearby homes

Screenshot 2024-04-23 143511
A rendering of the planned solar canopy at JFK Airport.
Port Authority of NY & NJ

Construction has started on a solar power canopy over a John F. Kennedy Airport parking lot in Queens that will be used to source clean energy for powering the JFK AirTrain and nearby residential communities.

The canopy, being built over JFK’s long-term parking lot 9, will generate about 12 megawatts of power, the governor’s office says, and is expected to start coming online by 2025. The project will include enough solar panels to cover 11 football fields, officials say.

Beyond powering the AirTrain, low-income households in the neighborhoods around the airport will be eligible to purchase discounted clean energy produced by the canopy, which will cover 3,000 parking spaces.

“We are breaking ground on a game-changing solar project, which will give power to the AirTrain and support thousands of families in Queens,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “Supporting local minority- and women-owned businesses, this project will deepen our investment in the community while pushing forward New York’s nation-leading climate goals.”

Solar panels are also expected to be installed on newly-reconstructed Terminals 1 and 6 at JFK, while a solar array already exists atop LaGuardia Airport and over a parking lot at Newark Airport.

The Port Authority and the New York Power Authority worked in partnership to contract TotalEnergies to construct the solar canopy. 

“Building New York’s largest solar carport at JFK significantly advances the Port Authority’s goal of reducing our agency’s carbon footprint to net zero while sharing the benefit of our historic investments at the airport with neighboring communities,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “When complete, a fully transformed JFK will take its place as a world-class airport that is efficient, beautiful and sustainable.”