Delaware River Port Authority goes solar with new 20-year power deal

CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The Delaware River Port Authority is going solar, at least in seven of its parking lots.

The agency is entering into a 20-year deal with California-based SunPower Corporation to erect 50,000 solar panels in seven parking lots: four along the PATCO high speed line, at the Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges, and at DRPA headquarters in Camden.

Agency CEO John Hanson told KYW Newsradio the deal has "put together something that’s going to provide more than half our power from clean energy and save us approximately $12 million."

Not only that, but the authority won't pay a dime for those panels.

"SunPower is making the investment into the infrastructure," he added, "and as part of it, we are entering into a purchase power agreement with SunPower where we agree to purchase all of the power that’s generated at a price that is dramatically lower."

That's 22 megawatts of power here, one of the largest transit-related alternative energy projects in the region. It'll provide half of the DRPA's electricity needs, including those on the electric-powered PATCO line.

People will also be able to park under the canopies that'll hold the cells in place. The project is expected to be finished in about a year.