Solar Flies Higher At Denver Airport

Constellation Energy recently completed a 4.4-megawatt (MW) solar project at the Denver International Airport (DIA), bringing the airport’s total amount of hosted solar power to more than 8 MW – the most solar generation at a commercial airport in the United States.

Baltimore-based Constellation, which built, owns and maintains the project, will sell the energy directly to the airport as part of the 20-year deal. The system is expected to supply approximately 7,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to DIA each year, meeting 6 percent of its electricity needs. Generating the same amount of electricity using nonrenewable sources would result in the release of more than 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.

DIA solar

image via DIA

“With the addition of this solar facility, Denver International Airport’s three solar array systems now produce approximately six percent of the airport’s total power requirements,” said Kim Day, aviation manager for DIA. “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. This airport was built with a goal of being green, and with this additional solar array, Denver International Airport now has one of the largest solar installations in North America.”

The system – the third large-scale solar project at DIA – comprises 19,000 photovoltaic panels manufactured by Yingli Green Energy. Intermountain Electric managed the construction of the Colorado project, which is now the largest customer-sited solar photovoltaic installation in Colorado.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.

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