Commercial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables - April 26, 2019
MTA launches solar roof initiative for green (energy and dollars)
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that it is launching a new initiative that will generate clean, emission-free, solar electricity as well as begin to open up a new frontier of previously untapped revenue: the leasing of potentially millions of square feet of industrial roof space in New York City to companies interested in generating solar power.
The MTA, the largest public transportation agency in the United States, has identified more than 100 bus depots, train yards, repair shops, and commuter lots across all MTA agencies – totaling more than 10 million square feet of industrial roof space – which would be suitable for solar development. Fully realized, these properties present an opportunity to develop more than 100 megawatts of emission-free electricity for New Yorkers – enough to power 18,000 households. The MTA hopes to achieve a significant new revenue stream from this activity, with little to no capital investment of its own, by way of leasing the valuable real estate to companies that would use it to install solar panels and generate clean electricity to sell back to the municipal grid.
“Green energy always had a dual benefit – it can help save the planet and it can be a big money-maker as well,” said MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber. “The MTA is already one of the nation’s leading forces in reducing carbon emissions. The recently approved Central Business District Tolling system will also reduce emissions and generate funds for the MTA, and this common-sense, innovative new program will further help the environment while generating a significant amount of new revenue for the MTA.”
The RFP, released on Earth Day, proposes the solar development of seven MTA properties, belonging to NYC Transit, LIRR and Metro-North Railroad, generating an estimated 6.5 megawatts of emissions-free electricity for thousands of New York households. This RFP includes locations with new roofs/new pavement, large quantities of unobstructed roof space, and local energy demand.