Chattanooga has been in the news for a while now due to opening of several 5-star hotels, restaurants, and bars. Now the fourth largest city of Tennessee is once again seeking media attention by achieving a milestone in the sustainability sector.
The commitment of Chattanooga Airport to renewable energy is commendable
The Chattanooga Metropolitan airport states it had become the first solar-powered airfield in the USA. The solar panel installation is said to span over an area comparable to 16 football fields.
It is estimated that the amount invested by the airport in switching to solar power will be earned back in under 20 years. This is because the overall operational costs will be reduced by renewable energy streams.
On completion of the solar installation Terry hart, CEO and president of the Chattanooga Airport said, “This is a momentous day for the Chattanooga Airport as we complete our solar farm and achieve a major sustainability milestone. 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.” The Chattanooga Airport has storage units installed as well. These help in storing energy from the solar form and hence allowing the operations to continue even after sundown. This system is expected to be sustainable for three or four decades. The Chattanooga Airport’s solar farm is capable of producing 2.64 MW. It wouldn’t have been possible without the funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. This project was made successful, especially by Energy Efficiency and Voluntary Airport Low Emission grants. “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.”
Chattanooga Airport is inspiring others to join the cause of renewable energy
Although Chattanooga Airport has relatively small operations and has direct flights to only ten cities, the airport is seeing growth in traffic. Their annual report shows that they had 4% more passengers this year. The success of Chattanooga Airport will hopefully inspire similar endeavors throughout the country. Indianapolis International Airport and Denver International Airport have already put solar grids in place. These will be some of the largest solar farms ever.