With so much energy going into making our air travel more eco-friendly, we don't often stop to think about how much energy airports themselves use.
So the Chattanooga Metropolitan Authority decided to try and make the Chattanooga Airport a little greener. They enlisted Atlanta-based Inman Solar to carry out the installation of a 4.5-acre solar farm to help power the airport. The project uses high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells and modules created by Suniva, an Atlanta-based solar company. The installation is the first phase of a 3-megawatt project to power airport operations.
Since the installation was completed in December, the setup has already produced 90,000 kilowatt-hours of power - a savings of more than 62 tons of CO2.
According to Inman Solar, the project was funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The agency provided 95 percent of the project's $4.3 million estimated cost.
The Chattanooga airport project's goal of 3-megawatts of solar power is ambitious, especially given the airport's size. In comparison, the country's largest solar airport initiative is a 4.4-megawatt project at the much-larger Denver airport. Should this project be successful, it may encourage other smaller airports to find similar ways to curb their emissions.
Photo: Inman Solar