New York Power Authority to upgrade Grand Central Terminal platform lighting with energy-efficient LEDS

July 24, 2019

The Metro-North Railroad platforms throughout Grand Central Terminal will be upgraded with energy-efficient LED lighting through Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

The $2.7 million lighting upgrade will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,660 tons—the equivalent of taking approximately 350 cars off the road—and improve safety for the more than 750,000 travelers who visit the terminal every day. Today's announcement bolsters the governor's comprehensive agenda to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing the clean energy economy.

“NYPA and MTA have been close partners for decades and jointly modernizing this iconic transit hub is truly a win-win for taxpayers,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “In addition to improving safety for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who use Grand Central on a daily basis, this energy-saving project will save taxpayer dollars and help to build a cleaner, greener New York.”

The lighting project includes the installation of 4,400 LED lighting units on all Metro-North Railroad platforms throughout the building. NYPA is also financing the project and providing $630,000 in additional funding.

The energy-saving measures will save New York taxpayers nearly $229,000 annually in energy costs. Installation will begin this month and is expected to conclude next year.

“I am proud that Metro-North can offer customers safe and reliable service, while also being mindful of preserving our natural resources,” said Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North Railroad. “As the first railroad in North America to achieve an internationally recognized certification for energy efficiency, Metro-North is truly a pioneer in energy conversation in the transportation industry. Our team here at Metro-North works diligently to find innovative ways to use energy efficiently and reduce our carbon footprint, and partnering with NYPA to install LED lighting at Grand Central Terminal is part of this effort.”

Today’s announcement directly supports the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the most aggressive climate change law in the nation, through the increased use of energy efficiency to annually reduce electricity demand by three percent—equivalent to 1.8 million New York households—by 2025.

Under New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, NYPA and MTA have partnered to complete more than $194 million in energy efficiency projects, saving $17.6 million annually and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 88,800 metric tons a year—the equivalent of taking more than 18,850 cars off the road.

The energy efficiency projects were carried out under the governor’s BuildSmart NY program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings.

New York State’s Green New Deal

Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate change program in the nation and puts the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy, including power generation, transportation, buildings, industry and agriculture. The governor’s program also establishes a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any state in the nation. The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates several of the governor’s ambitious Green New Deal clean energy targets: installing nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035; six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025; and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030. The CLCPA also calls for an orderly and just transition to clean energy, creating jobs while spurring a green economy. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, and 1,700 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012. The CLCPA also directs New York State's agencies and authorities to work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, and to work toward a goal of investing 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.

Reforming the Energy Vision

The CLCPA builds on Governor Cuomo's landmark Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency. Already, REV has driven growth of nearly 1,700 percent in the statewide solar market leveraging nearly $3.4 billion in private investments, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and has led to more than 150,000 jobs in manufacturing, engineering and other clean tech sectors across New York State.