CHA leads the way on Green Initiatives with FAA AIP grant; copying allowed and encouraged

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Chattanooga Becomes First U.S. Airport to Run Entirely On Solar

AIP VALE Grant pays for Solar Farm

Greener Energy and Lower Electricity Bills

Great Initiative that other airports SHOULD follow

This post shows that the AIP funds can lead both a greener airport and reduce operating costs. Much credit is due to the leadership of the Chattanooga Municipal Airport in utilizing innovation to meet two important goals!!!

Tennessee’s Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport has become the first airport in the United States to run entirely on solar power. The small facility, which operates more than 61,000 flights a year, announced it completed work on a 12-acre, 2.64 megawatt (MW) solar farm that generates enough green electricity to account for the airport’s total energy needs.

The $10 million project, funded largely by the Federal Aviation Administration, took nine years and three phases to complete. It uses onsite batteries to help power operations at night and is expected to last 30 to 40 years. Built in the southwest corner of the airfield, the array is visible from Chattanooga’s two runways on land unusable for aviation purposes. “It’s good for our environment and our bottom line,” Dan Jacobson, chairman of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority, said at a press event on Wednesday. He noted that the solar panels make enough electricity to power 160,000 light bulbs.

CHA’s President & CEO Terry L. Hart, ACE

 

Chattanooga Airport’s solar farm is a staple in the airport’s green initiative. The three-phase project launched in 2011, and has reached the second phase of its development. The solar farm was expanded in the summer of 2013, increasing its annual onsite clean power generation from one megawatt to 2.1 megawatts.

The solar farm is located on the southwest corner of the airfield, in an area unusable for aviation purposes. However, it was the perfect location for a solar farm.

The solar farm is located on the southwest corner of the airfield, in an area unusable for aviation purposes. However, it was the perfect location for a solar farm.

Phase I, a one megawatt solar farm, consists of 3,948 solar panels with 60 cells each, generating 255 watts per panel

Phase II, a 1.1 megawatt solar farm, added 3,542 panels with 72 cells each, generating 310 watts per panel.

The two phases together produce approximately 85 percent of the airport’s energy needs.

The vision for the solar farm, as developed by the Airport Authority, is to have a three megawatt solar farm on the airfield. Once the Chattanooga Airport reaches this goal, it will be energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral.

The solar farm was funded through a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Grant. VALE Grants are air quality grants issued to airports that are in non-attainment or maintenance areas. Chattanooga is in a non-attainment area for Particulate Matter 2.5, making it eligible for air quality grant funding.

CHA’s Hart said the first phase came online in 2011 and it exceeded expectations, prompting airport officials to visit the FAA for the second installation and, still again, for the third array.

He said the solar farm was placed off of Jubilee Drive on the west side of the airfield due to height restrictions. Hart cited the efforts of John Naylor, the airport’s soon-to-retire vice president of planning and development, saying he has “a drive for solar.”

Jacobson said the airport has other environmental initiatives, such as a “green” friendly Wilson Air facility and electric car chargers in the parking lot. He said the airport is “a leader in sustainability.”


 

IF THAT’S NOT GREEN ENOUGHCHA’s Terminal was the first in the world to be LEED Platinum Certified!!!

The CHA initiative should serve as a great green example for other airports to emulate.

 



 

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