Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport to House State’s Largest Solar Project

October 3, 2014 By Karen Henry

MSP-shuttle-energy-manageConstruction has begun on what will be Minnesota’s largest solar generation site. Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP) will soon house a 3 MW solar installation on the top deck of two Terminal 1 parking structures.

The $25.4 million project also includes converting more than 7,700 metal halide light fixtures in all four parking ramps to LED technology. Four additional electric vehicle charging stations will be installed in the ramps, bringing the total number of MSP charging stations to 18.

Work is expected to be complete by Oct. 2015 and will increase Minnesota’s cumulative solar capacity by roughly 20 percent. When operating at peak capacity, the installation will generate an estimated 20 percent of the airport’s total power supply.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy company Ameresco has been contracted to lead the airport solar project in partnership with a number of Minnesota-based entities including tenKsolar, Thrivent Financial, Cooper Lighting/Eaton Corporation and Hunt Electric. Xcel Energy was also a key contributor, with a $2 million grant from its Renewable Development Fund.

Other US airports are incorporating solar into their energy mix. Newark Liberty International Airport completed installation of a 633 kW solar system in April. That same month, San Diego International Airport began installation of a 3.3 MW solar system.

Photo of train tracks connecting MSP terminals via Shutterstock.

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