Newark switches on 7.2 MW photovoltaic solar project

A 7.2-megawatt photovoltaic solar project was formally switched on recently to generate power at Port Newark Container Terminal and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the 320-acre facility.

The first phase of the project launched at a special event Jan. 20, attended by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka as well as representatives of PNCT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Standard Solar.

PNCT, a joint venture between Ports America and Terminal Investment Ltd., has partnered with Standard Solar under a 25-year power purchase agreement for the installation of two rooftop solar arrays and five carport arrays, including a 3.8 MW canopy spanning multiple truck lanes at the facility.

The project also includes 15 electric vehicle charging stations for use by PNCT employees, staff and EV terminal vehicles. When completed at the end of 2023, the two-phase initiative will produce 8,476 megawatt hours per year — approximately 50% of PNCT’s annual electrical demand, reducing electrical demand from the Newark area electrical grid.

Over the past decade, PNCT has invested in a series of green initiatives designed to streamline operations and reduce emissions, according to Jim Pelliccio, CEO and president of PNCT. Completed projects include the conversion of all terminal lighting to LED fixtures; installation of hybrid straddle carriers and energy-efficient electric cranes; and installation of a 1 MW natural gas generator.

“This solar project will significantly reduce Port Newark’s emissions profile,” Pelliccio said. “It’s another important step toward addressing a key concern of Newark city officials and residents.”

PNCT’s solar project is estimated to save 6,007 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year — a reduction that is equivalent to removing 1,294 gasoline-powered cars or 15 million miles driven annually by a gasoline-powered passenger vehicle.

“Working with our partners for a more sustainable Newark is an immense priority for my administration,” Baraka said. “We are acting locally while thinking globally on this world-changing issue. Port Newark’s solar energy project will help make our city healthier for present and future generations alike. We must continue efforts that combine our local infrastructure with clean power generation, driving ‘Newark Forward’ — building new jobs, increasing the air quality of our community and doing our part to fight climate change.”