DRPA/PATCO unveil plan for 22-MW solar energy project throughout N.J.

The Delaware River Port Authority along with the Port Authority Transit Corp. and SunPower Corp. unveiled Wednesday plans for a 22-megawatt solar energy project throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.

“This monumental solar initiative demonstrates DRPA’s commitment to providing world-class transportation services that create significant savings, and added value for the public,” John T. Hanson, CEO of DRPA and president of PATCO, said.

The transportation-related alternative energy initiative will install more than 50,000 solar panels and 133 high-efficiency solar photovoltaic parking canopies at seven sites. They include:

  • PATCO Ashland station (Voorhees);
  • PATCO Lindenwold station (Lindenwold);
  • PATCO Woodcrest station (Cherry Hill);
  • PATCO Ferry Avenue stations (Camden);
  • Commodore Barry Bridge;
  • Betsy Ross Bridge;
  • DRPA’s headquarters at One Port Center (Camden).

“This project represents an important and groundbreaking next step for the DRPA and PATCO as we explore new opportunities to promote sustainability within every aspect of our operations,” Jeffrey L. Nash, vice chair, DRPA, said. “I’m excited about the potential opportunities that exist for reducing our carbon footprint, while encouraging the use of renewable energy sources and, ultimately, providing more cost effective energy solutions. I join with Chairman Boyer and the rest of the board in applauding and supporting this innovative new project.”

The project is slated for completion in 2021 and will provide more than 50% of the total solar energy consumption for the DRPA and PATCO — or 27 million kWh in its first year. It is funded through a 20-year purchase agreement under which DRPA will buy all of the electricity generated by the panels.

“SunPower applauds DRPA for its efforts to navigate an approach that adds value to its bottom line and enhances rider comfort,” Eric Potts, senior vice president of SunPower’s commercial direct business, said. “We look forward to working with DRPA and PATCO, providing our innovative, leading technology solar solutions as well as our expertise in delivering on transit projects.”