Denver International plans construction of a solar energy project to provide power for fuel farm
(photo: Denver International Airport)
Thu 20 Aug 2009 – Denver International Airport (DIA) is to seek approval from its city council to construct a photovoltaic solar electricity-generating system that would power the airport’s fuel storage and distribution facility. The airport plans to enter into an agreement with MP2 Capital and Oak Leaf Energy Partners to develop the $7 million, 1.6-megawatt solar project on a nine-acre (3.6ha) site north of the airport’s airfield. The new solar system is scheduled for completion by the end of this year and once operational, is expected to provide nearly all of the fuel farm’s electricity consumption.
“We expect this project to reduce energy costs for our airline and cargo business partners over the 20-year term of the agreement,” said Kim Day, Aviation Manager. “DIA has a widespread reputation as a green airport and this project is another example of our commitment to environmental responsibility.”
The project is supported by the 20 airline members of the DIA fuel committee, along with airport and airline services provider Aircraft Service International Group. “The proposed environmentally-friendly solar facility promises to provide long-term cost savings to airport stakeholders while reaffirming the airlines’ ongoing commitment to cleaner energy,” commented James C. May, Air Transport Association President and CEO.
The proposal calls for DIA to buy electricity generated by the system from major US electricity and natural gas company Xcel Energy at a rate equal to 90% of Xcel Energy’s rate.
Last year, DIA unveiled a 2-megawatt solar energy system south of the airport terminal which will generate over three million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enabling the airport to reduce its annual carbon emissions by over 2,000 tonnes (see story). Under a similar long-term partnership, Xcel Energy received a rebate to offset the upfront construction costs. Xcel Energy will purchase the renewable energy credits from the clean electricity produced in support of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires large utilities to generate 20% of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.