NYPA Press Release

Javits Center Moving Ahead with Rooftop Solar Project

2 MW of Energy Storage Now Included

Manhattan’s Largest Rooftop Solar Installation by the New York Power Authority to Lower Center’s Electric Use, Achieve Greater Savings

Commercial Scale System to Help State Continue its Path to Carbon Neutrality and Generate 70 Percent of its Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources

  • View Rendering of Proposed Canopy Solar Panel Here

For Immediate Release: 09/27/19

Contact: NYPA Media Relations | 914-681-6770 | media.inquiries@nypa.gov


The 1.4 MW solar energy project planned for the Javits Center will now include up to 2 MW of battery storage, an addition that will allow excess generation from Manhattan’s largest rooftop solar array to be stored for use during times of peak power demand, reducing energy costs and helping New York State meet its aggressive solar and energy storage targets to fight climate change. The solar and storage installation will help move New York State further along on its path to economy-wide carbon neutrality and advance New York's nation-leading clean energy and jobs goals. Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the state is charged with generating 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

“Energy storage is vital to the successful integration of renewable energy into the electric grid,” said Tracy McKibben, a member of the Board of Trustees for the New York Power Authority (NYPA), which is leading the project.The Javits Center is a New York City icon that is already pursuing many sustainability initiatives, including a green roof, and with NYPA’s addition of a storage element to these solar arrays, we will set yet another example of renewable energy innovation for other facilities to follow.”

New York is on a trajectory to achieve 1,500 megawatts of storage by 2025, enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes, and up to 3,000 megawatts by 2030.

NYPA’s Board of Trustees approved “back-to-back” power purchase agreements Wednesday that will make way for the construction of the commercial-scale solar photovoltaic and energy storage system on Javits’ green roof on Manhattan’s West Side. NYPA, as lead on the project, is entering into an agreement with Siemens Industry, Inc., the project’s developer, to purchase energy from the solar photovoltaic and energy storage system, and in turn sell that energy to the Javits Center. Under the agreement, Siemens will construct and own the system and through the back-to-back agreement Javits will purchase the energy on a per kilowatt hour basis.

The battery storage element was added during the design phase. The addition will enhance the efficiency of the electric grid by storing extra energy to use during periods of high electricity demand. Shifting generation to more valuable periods will result in greater savings and contribute to reduced carbon emissions.

Nearly 4,000 panels will be hosted on the rooftop and 11th Avenue sidewalk side of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. On the roof, the canopy-style solar arrays will be placed over existing air conditioning units. See rendering of panel here. The project will offset more than 1.3 million pounds of carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to removing 262 cars from the road.

“New York State is leading the push for advanced energy storage projects that will be key in our transition to a clean energy economy,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “Demonstrating the value of battery storage systems technology atop the country’s most prominent conference center will show how efficiently stored power can be utilized during emergencies and at times of high demand.”

“As a new model of sustainability, the Javits Center is helping to redefine the role of large buildings in a dense urban environment such as New York City,” said Alan Steel, president and CEO of the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation, which operates the Javits Center. “In collaboration with NYPA and Siemens, we are thrilled to add storage capacity to our rooftop solar array, which will be the latest addition to a sustainability program that has made tremendous strides in energy conservation and wildlife protection.”

These systems will provide the Javits Center with approximately 1,450 kilowatts of solar PV capacity and 2,000 kilowatts of energy storage capacity, which are expected to generate more than 1,800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Using the 2 MW energy storage system, the Javits Center will be able to support the overall state power grid, in the high-usage area of Manhattan, through demand response (using the stored energy at high demand times) and other energy optimizing programs. Fluence, a Siemens affiliated company based in Arlington, Va., is slated to provide the containerized battery storage unit.

With this solar array project, the Javits Center, which undertaken numerous projects to drive sustainability efforts, will take another step closer to its own sustainability and renewable energy goals. Following a five-year renovation, the convention center’s 6.75-acre green roof has become a sanctuary for area wildlife, serving as a habitat to nearly 30 bird species and five bat species. The green roof has helped to reduce the building’s energy consumption by 26% while absorbing up to 7 million gallons of storm water a year.

Dave Hopping, president of Siemens Smart Infrastructure, North America, said, “Siemens applauds the Governor’s continued efforts in leading the state’s transition to renewable resources. Having served as a technology partner in New York State for decades, including our over 30-year history with the Javits Center, we look forward to continue playing a role in New York’s clean energy future.”

Senator Brad Hoylman said, "The Javits Center is the busiest convention center in the United States—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. I applaud Governor Cuomo, the New York Power Authority, Siemens, and the Javits Center for their work to expand renewable energy in our city and bringing even more green jobs to Manhattan residents."

Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee,
said, “By moving forward to design and install the largest rooftop solar energy system in New York City, New York is taking bold steps toward a cleaner environment while growing jobs through clean energy.”

For more information about NYPA’s clean energy services, visit its Customer Energy Solutions webpage.

About NYPA:
NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. 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. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

About the Javits Center:
Known as the "Marketplace for the World," the Javits Center was originally designed by I.M. Pei & Partners and opened in 1986. The iconic facility has since become New York City's primary venue for large conventions, trade shows and special events and serves as home to many of the world's top 250 trade shows, hosting millions of visitors a year. These events generate up to $2 billion in economic activity and support more than 18,000 jobs a year. Located on 11th Avenue between West 34th and West 40th streets. in Manhattan, the Javits Center has 760,000 square feet of flexible exhibition space, 102 meeting rooms and four banquet halls, as well as a range of technology services, including state-of-the-art WiFi capabilities. For more information, visit javitscenter.com.

New York State's Green New Deal:
Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, putting the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop nearly 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind by 2024, and 1,700 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012.

The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates the Green New Deal’s national leading clean energy targets: nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, while calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy. The CLCPA also directs New York State agencies and authorities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and aim to invest 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency program resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.