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NYPA Announces Pivotal Step to Provide Clean Renewable Power For Rebuilt World Trade Center

Connie Cullen
Michael Saltzman

June 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                           

WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced that it has reached an agreement that will make the redeveloped World Trade Center the site of one of the largest fuel cell installations in the world. 

The agreement, valued at $10.6 million, was reached with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., for equipment purchases to provide heat and power for the new towers.

The fuel cells, totaling 4.8 megawatts (mw) of generating capacity, will provide an on-site supplement to the renewable power and other clean energy the rebuilt World Trade Center will receive via power lines from off-site sources. Together with design measures to minimize energy use, the “green” power arrangements will make the Freedom Tower and three other towers that are part of the Trade Center a model for environmentally friendly energy and for energy efficiency. The Freedom Tower is being developed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the other towers by Silverstein Properties. 

“One of the most important building projects in the nation will be equipped with space-age energy technology that uses an electrochemical process to produce clean on-site power,” Gov. David A. Paterson said. “The fuel cells and other measures will help make the new World Trade Center towers an exemplar of environmental sustainability and will signal to the world New York State’s commitment to greater energy security and reduced dependence on foreign oil. I can think of few sites in the country where the symbolism of this is more important.”

“We are committed to helping make clean energy initiatives at the new World Trade Center site a reality,” said Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Fuel cells are one of the environmentally beneficial technologies that the Power Authority is investing in under Governor Paterson’s leadership to combat greenhouse gas emissions and diversify the state’s energy mix. To date, we’ve installed 15 fuel cells in New York City and other locations, and expect to add to this total in support of the Governor’s ambitious goals for significant increases in the state’s renewable power.” 

Fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a chemical reaction. They require few moving parts, making them a quiet, reliable and safe source of power suitable for around-the-clock operation. 

The buildings at the World Trade Center site will also benefit from wind power-purchase agreements that NYPA reached in late 2006 with two renewable power developers in upstate New York on behalf of various governmental customers in New York City. They include the Port Authority, which is responsible for building several projects at the World Trade Center site, including the Freedom Tower and Tower 5.  

“With construction and real estate accounting for more than half of the region's carbon footprint, making our buildings green is one of the most important steps we can take to preserve our environment—a message we're driving home at every stage of the World Trade Center project,” said Christopher Ward, executive director of the Port Authority.  

UTC Power, a unit of United Technologies Corp., was the successful bidder among the qualified firms responding to a Request for Proposals that NYPA issued in October 2007 for four 1.2 mw fuel-cell systems for the World Trade Center. (One megawatt is enough power to serve approximately 800 to 1,000 homes.)  

The first of the fuel cells will be delivered to the Freedom Tower in January 2009. It will be owned and operated by the Port Authority, the owner of the building. The fuel cells at the three towers being developed by Silverstein Properties, at 150, 175 and 200 Greenwich St., will be owned and operated by World Trade Center Properties, LLC, an affiliate. 

“When 7 World Trade Center opened in 2006, it was the first office tower in city history to achieve official LEED certification as a green building,” said Larry A. Silverstein, president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, citing the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program. “We vowed then that each successive World Trade Center tower would also be cutting edge in terms of environmental sustainable design, construction and operation. More broadly, however, these buildings will be part of a new downtown neighborhood that is fast becoming the greenest community in the city with both commercial and residential buildings that are sustainable, as well as new parks and waterfront access, and generous open spaces.”

The Port Authority will receive financing for the Freedom Tower fuel cell from NYPA’s energy services program for governmental customers, with the Power Authority recovering its costs over a period of up to 20 years. Funding for the fuel cells slated for 150, 175 and 200 Greenwich will come from the Lower Manhattan Energy Independence Initiative established by the State of New York.  

New York’s Renewable Portfolio Standard Program seeks to increase to 25 percent the amount of the state’s total electricity generated from renewable technologies such as fuel cells by 2013. This is part of a broad range of efforts under Governor Paterson to bring about transformative changes in the state’s energy supplies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance fuel diversity and energy security and create new industries and jobs.  

 About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.  ■   For more information, please go to

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