Sacramento International Airport has officially opened a new solar energy facility which is expected to generate more than 30 percent of the airport’s electricity and is the largest airport solar facility in California.
The 7.9 MW solar farm consists of a 15-acre site on Aviation Drive and a 20-acre site north of the runway. It utilises more than 23,000 LG solar panels mounted on NEXTracker racking that tracks the sun from east to west over the course of the day, thereby maximising efficiency and energy generation. The facility will generate enough electricity to power 1,600 homes per year.
The capital investment for the facility was provided by NRG, which financed construction by Borrego Solar. NRG owns and operates the facility and will sell electricity to Sacramento International Airport at a reduced rate under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Projected cost savings from the project are an average of $850,000 annually throughout the 25-year term of the agreement.
“This is an exciting development for the Sacramento International Airport” said John Wheat, Director of Airports for the Sacramento County Department of Airports. “By partnering with a private company, we have a source of clean, renewable energy that will save money and furthers our commitment to sustainable practices. It’s truly a win-win scenario.”
Kevin Prince, Senior Director of Business Development, NRG Renewables, added that over 10 million travellers fly in and out of Sacramento Airport each year. They will now be able to see the value of solar at work and witness the airport’s commitment to clean, reliable, renewable energy.
Image: Aircraft at Sacramento International Airport by Daniel Betts, Flickr