The Chattanooga Airport in Tennessee celebrated the completion of the final phase of its 2.64-MW solar farm. The power generated is equal to the airport’s total energy needs. The Chattanooga Airport is the only airport in the nation to now run on 100% renewable energy.
“This is a momentous day for the Chattanooga Airport as we complete our solar farm and achieve a major sustainability milestone,” said Terry Hart, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Airport. “This project has immediate benefits to our airport and community, and we’re proud to set an example in renewable energy for other airports, businesses and our region. While generating a local renewable resource, we are also increasing the economic efficiency of the airport.”
Project partners and elected leaders gathered at Wilson Air Center next to the solar farm to celebrate the grand opening of the installation. TVA and EPB both contributed to the airport’s efforts to bring the solar farm online.
“Renewable energy is a tremendous asset in terms of economic and environmental benefits,” said Doug Perry, TVA vice president of commercial energy solutions. “With more than 50% of our generating portfolio carbon-free, we’re excited to help the airport protect the environment as they drive tourism and commerce, both vital to achieving our shared mission of economic prosperity for our community.”
The Chattanooga Airport’s 2.64-MW solar installation was made possible by Federal Aviation Administration funding, specifically Voluntary Airport Low Emission and Energy Efficiency grants.
“The solar farm is a historic achievement that puts Chattanooga on the map yet again for leading the way on green initiatives,” said Airport Authority Chairman Dan Jacobson. “We are proud to be at the helm of sustainability efforts, which make our airport and region attractive to companies aligned with our mission, who also want to do business here.”
The installation complements other sustainability projects at the airport, including its multiple LEED certified facilities, stormwater system, green infrastructure and electric car charging stations.
The solar array was installed in three phases — Phase 1 (1 MW) began in 2011 and Phase 2 (1.1 MW) was completed in 2013 to power 85% of the airport’s needs. This final phase (500 kW) allowed the airport to run on 100% solar energy.
News item from Chattanooga Airport