A 3MW solar installation is now complete on the top deck of two Terminal 1-Lindbergh parking structures at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) – Minnesota’s largest solar generation site.
This first-of-its-kind airport project also included converting more than 7,700 metal halide light fixtures in all four parking ramps to energy-saving LED technology. Four additional electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the ramps, bringing the total number of MSP charging stations to 18. It is estimated that the installation will generate close to 20% of the airport’s total peak power capacity.
“The Metropolitan Airports Commission has worked for decades to operate Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as sustainably as possible, investing millions in infrastructure to reduce impacts to soil, water and air quality, and spending nearly a half-billion dollars on noise mitigation around MSP,” said Jeff Hamiel, the Commission’s executive director and CEO. “This solar project is a major step forward in use of renewable energy at MSP International Airport.”
Ameresco, a renewable energy company, developed the solar infrastructure and LED lighting upgrade. Ameresco also will maintain and operate the system on behalf of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Xcel Energy, also a key contributor, provided a $2.1 million grant from its renewable development fund.
This solar project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6,813 metric tons annually. This is the equivalent of taking 1,434 passengers off the road in one year. As a result, this effort has already been recognized nationally for its innovation and partnership through awards, including the Airports Going Green Award presented by the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 2015 Technology and Innovation in Environmental Stewardship Award.