Press Release Article


Date: Sep 20, 2007
Press Release Number: 77-2007

Authorization is Part of Larger Sustainability Effort;
Geothermal Power Introduced at JFK

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized four capital projects that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Port Authority facilities. The four projects total $12.2 million and include the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting on the George Washington Bridge and in the Holland Tunnel, part of a broader program to equip all of the agency’s bridges and tunnels with energy-efficient lighting. Additionally, the use of geothermal energy to power a building at John F. Kennedy International Airport and the installation of an advanced energy metering system at all Port Authority facilities were authorized. The projects mark a major step forward in the agency’s long-term Sustainability Program.

“All of our capital investments are moving in this direction. We will use our 10-year Capital Plan as the guiding instrument for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency and cutting long-term operating maintenance costs,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia.

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “With today’s investments, we’ll take over 4 million pounds of CO2 out of the air each year. This is an important step, but it’s still just a beginning. Over the months and years to come, we’ll be investing more of our resources to make sure we use less of the world’s.”

In May, Chairman Coscia announced the agency would undertake an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Port Authority seaports and airports by 80 percent from 2006 levels by 2050. Upon his arrival at the agency in January, Executive Director Shorris named sustainability one of the five strategic goals for the Port Authority, along with safety, opportunity, capacity and quality.

The new LED (light-emitting diode) lighting in the Holland Tunnel will replace the
existing fluorescent lighting. The LED lighting, which distributes light more efficiently and
requires less energy, has a life expectancy of 15 years compared to 1.4 years for the existing tunnel lighting. More than 1,700 LED fixtures will replace 4,000 existing fixtures in the tunnel and will produce annual energy and maintenance savings of $340,000. An annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction of approximately 3 million pounds is expected with the use of the new system.

The necklace lighting for the George Washington Bridge is currently lit by 156 mercury vapor fixtures and will be replaced with 156 LED fixtures. The LEDs will have a life expectancy of 12 years compared to one year for the existing lighting. The use of LED lighting on the bridge necklace will produce annual energy and maintenance savings of $49,000. An annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction of approximately 260,000 pounds is expected with the use of the new system. The Holland Tunnel and George Washington Bridge projects are scheduled to be completed in 2008.

The geothermal project will be the first-ever use of geothermal power at a United States airport. The mechanical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning at JFK Building 254, which is a Port Authority Police facility, will be upgraded to make full use of geothermal power. The building’s heating and cooling will be fueled entirely by geothermal energy, which will significantly reduce energy consumption at the site, producing an annual 820,000-pound carbon dioxide reduction. This will be the first geothermal-powered Port Authority facility, and the agency intends to convert more facilities to geothermal power use in the future.

The new power metering system being installed at all Port Authority facilities is an advanced pulse metering system. The system is a powerful Web-based structure, providing real-time monitoring of utility usage so the agency can identify where and how consumption can be managed to maximize economic and environmental savings.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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