The fuel powering the planes flying into the Fresno Yosemite International (FYI) airport may not yet come from renewable energy, but a good portion of the operations of the airport will soon be, thanks to a new 2 MW solar array dedicated yesterday.
The array will provide electricity to power 40% of the everyday lighting, air conditioning, controls and tower communications of the airport. The array will by 9.5 acres in size and is expected to save the airport $13 million over the next 20 years.
Fresno Aviation Director Russ Widmar: "Using renewable solar energy will decrease overhead costs and improve the financial performance of our operations. In addition, the solar installation has been constructed on land located near our runways that up until now was unusable."
Having a third party operate system reduces risk, saves money
Partnering with FYI will be Sharp Solar, Xantrex Technology Inc., and Mill Valley, California's Solar Power Partners, who will operate the system, selling the electricity generated to the airport under a long term power purchase agreement.
By having a third party actually manage and operate the solar array FYI has, in much the same way that GM is leasing factory rooftop space in Spain for a large solar array, reduced upfront costs for the airport while gaining the long-term financial savings of solar power, as well as improving their environmental image.
:: Sharp Solar Energy Solution Group
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