Minnesota airport to power itself with solar

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (pictured) is planning a $25.4m solar power installation to generate nearly 20% of its own electricity.

Airport officials told newspaper The Star Tribune that it would be the biggest solar installation in the state of Minnesota when completed in the autumn of next year.

The 3MW installation will be built above parking ramps near the main terminal. More than 7,700 parking ramp lights will be converted to LEDs, the newspaper reported.

Of the total cash needed, $23m will come from a federal government loan, with the remainder granted by Minneapolis-based power company, Xcel Energy.

Airport officials said calculations were done on sun movement and panel angles to ensure that sunlight is not reflected into pilots’ eyes.

For size, the airport installation will beat Minnesota’s current solar leader, a 2MW Xcel Energy system in Slayton.

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