California Airport Officials Commit to 5-Acre Solar Array

Airport Energy Manage


California’s Humboldt County Airport could get a 5-acre solar array on its grounds.

The Public Works Aviation Division is hoping to partner with Schatz Energy Resource Center and the Redwood Coast Energy Authority to install the array. According to, the energy produced would benefit the airport and the surrounding community, and estimates show the airport could reach up to $60,000 in electricity savings annually if the project moves forward.

According to, the microgrid will have a sophisticated controller that allows it to operate when it’s grid-connected, which is almost all the time – or when it’s islanded, which would be the case in an emergency. The microgrid will have a 6,000 kWh Tesla battery

The system will produce two megawatts of power.

Renewable airports

In August, Finland’s Helsinki airport announced that, through extensive efficiency improvements, it has become carbon neutral. The airport began its path towards carbon neutrality by using renewable diesel fuel in vehicles operating at the airport.  The buses traveling between the terminal and aircraft are fueled by biodiesel produced entirely from waste and residue.

And in June, Alabama’s Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) earned the LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. BHM leaders approved a new terminal and the installation of an all-electric, high-efficiency HVAC system, sophisticated building automation systems, increased insulation and energy-efficient light fixtures, escalators, elevators and windows.

The energy efficient improvements within the new terminal are paying off. In January 2011, the gas and electric bill for the old terminal totaled $129,374. The new terminal, which is 185,000 square feet larger, had a total energy bill amounting to approximately $32,000 less.


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