Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport just announced as first fully Solar-Powered airport in the US

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The first airport to be fully powered by solar energy was Cochin International Airport. With its more than 46,000 solar panels collecting sunlight energy, the Indian airport runs completely on solar power since 2015.

What was a money saving measure turned out to be an efficient and long-term thinking strategy for greener solutions that subscribes to India’s objective of 100,000 megawatts solar power capacity by 2022.

This measure, which cost the airport authorities $9.5m to be recouped in less than six years, helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300,000 metric tonnes, which equals to planting three million trees. 

The US are now embracing the same strategy with Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Tennessee thanks to the 12-acre, 2.64-megawatt solar farm they have installed. The system even produces more energy than needed and the extra energy is sold to the regional utility grid. 

The transition project started in 2011 and cost a total of $10 million, which are expected to be earned back in under 20 years. This initiative was mainly funded by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Grant. The funding helps airports in non-attainment or maintenance areas reduce their emissions hence enhance air quality.

Other airports in the world are heading towards solar-powered infrastructures such as San Diego International Airport or Helsinki Airport. These initiatives contribute to reaching carbon neutrality, which will be the case for Helsinki in 2020. This is a path that can be followed by the 100 peer airports in Europe, which committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport just announced as first fully Solar-Powered airport in the US

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