Solar energy is changing the way we power our airports. Across the nation, states are turning to solar power to cut down on the operating costs and carbon emissions created by powering airports, an initiative that is not only helping the environment, but is also creating jobs.
Last Thursday government officials in Minnesota announced a $25 million solar project to be constructed at The Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, an addition that is anticipated to generate 20 percent of the airports’ electricity. This move not only further solidifies Minnesota’s reputation as a leader in the the nation’s clean-energy policies, but stimulates the local economy as well by creating a slew of jobs.
The increase in the amount of airports turning to solar is due mostly to the airline industry’s sinking bottom line in recent years. Energy stands as airports’ second largest expense, right behind personnel, and is so expensive that is causing most airlines to lose money each year. Solar presents itself foremost as a money saver, which no one can argue with.
The environmental impact of the recent movement of airports moving to solar is significant as well. The FAA estimates airports are currently reducing ozone emissions by 370 tons a year, the equivalent of removing 20,604 cars off the road.
So it’s clear why airports are turning to solar. The obvious benefit of cost-effectiveness along with the positive effect on our environmental well-being is becoming too hard to ignore. Hopefully, this trend of green airlines is indicative of a larger trend of big businesses switching to solar power.