Chattanooga Airport's solar farm is a staple in the airport's green initiative. The three-phase project launched in 2011, and has reached the second phase of its development. The solar farm was expanded in the summer of 2013, increasing its annual onsite clean power generation from one megawatt to 2.1 megawatts.
The solar farm is located on the southwest corner of the airfield, in an area unusable for aviation purposes. However, it was the perfect location for a solar farm. Phase I, a one megawatt solar farm, consists of 3,948 solar panels with 60 cells each, generating 255 watts per panel. Phase II, a 1.1 megawatt solar farm, added 3,542 panels with 72 cells each, generating 310 watts per panel. The two phases together produce approximately 85 percent of the airport's energy needs.
The vision for the solar farm, as developed by the Airport Authority, is to have a three megawatt solar farm on the airfield. Once the Chattanooga Airport reaches this goal, it will be energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral.
The solar farm was funded through a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Grant. VALE Grants are air quality grants issued to airports that are in non-attainment or maintenance areas. Chattanooga is in a non-attainment area for Particulate Matter 2.5, making it eligible for air quality grant funding.
To learn more about how solar energy works and to see how much energy our solar farm is producing, please go to http://live.deckmonitoring.com/?id=chattanooga_airport.