Impact of Tucson International Airport’s solar panels

The Tucson International Airport (TIA) adopted using solar energy a year ago, in the hopes to save money and to leave a smaller carbon footprint. Up-to-date the system has generated 16.3 KW hours of energy and has saved the airport more than $800,000.

“Well, as you can imagine, the energy for an airport is rather high so anytime we can take advantage of savings like the solar project, we’re very excited. It’s a win-win for both the TAA (Tucson Airport Authority) and the environment. And it minimizes our carbon footprint in the community,” said Danette Bewley, the vice president of operations and COO at TIA.

The solar project’s aim is powering the terminals, a significant portion of the airport’s power.

“So the Airport Authority has enjoyed about $35,000 a month in saving from both phase1 and phase2 of our solar project,” said Bewley.

Phase1 only included a section of the parking lot, while phase2 officially converted every overhang to hold solar panels. In total, 1,360 solar panels are generating energy and saving the airport money.

“When we’re efficient, we can pass those saving along to our tenants, especially the airlines. And the low our cost are, the more attractive our airport is to airlines,” said Bewley.

The airport’s solar project has come to an end-stopping with the parking lot-but this is not the end of TIA’s environmental projects.

“We’re never done. We’re always seeking new ways to improve and to save energy,” said Bewley.

This $14 million project was funded by FAA grants, ADOT and TAA funds.