Denver International Airport (DIA) now has more solar power than any other commercial airport in the United States.
Renewable Energy World reports that DIA has just completed a 4.4-megawatt ground-mounted solar power system, increasing its total solar power capacity to more than 8-MW. In total, the DIA solar installations cover 45 acres of farmland near the airport.
Put into an operational perspective, DIA now receives over 6 percent of its electricity from solar-generated power. This is positive news from both green and economic standpoints.
“We support alternative energy applications at DIA because these projects are good for the environment while positively impacting our bottom line; they are financially sustainable,” said Kim Day, the DIA aviation manager in a press release. “This airport was built with a goal of being green.”
DIA has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with a utility, Constellation Energy, to buy the electricity produced.
Baltimore-based Constellation Energy owns and maintains the solar PV system for this project. The company is a publicly traded (NYSE: CEG) Fortune 500 leader with nearly 10,000 employees. It has approximately 12,000 megawatts of generation capacity and reported 2010 revenue of $14.3 billion.
DIA’s solar generating capacity is estimated at 7,000 megawatt-hours annually from 19,000 Yingli solar photovoltaic panels.
This is the third solar project for the DIA. The first two installations were for 2-MW and 1.4-MW, respectively.
PHOTO: John Picken