$25.4MM solar power project begins at MSP Airport


Construction of a 3 MW, $25.4 million solar installation, Minnesota’s largest solar project is going on at the top deck of two Terminal 1 parking space at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

This first-of-its-kind airport project also includes updating 7,700 metal halide light fixtures in all parking ramps to LED technology.

In addition, four more EV charging stations will be installed in the ramps, making a total of MSP charging stations to 18.

The work will be completed by Oct. 2015 increasing Minnesota’s total solar capacity by 20 percent. Once the operation starts at peak capacity, the installation will provide 20 percent of the airport’s total power supply.


The Metropolitan Airports Commission has worked to operate Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as sustainably as possible, investing millions in infrastructure to reduce impacts spending nearly a half-billion dollars on noise mitigation around MSP, said, Jeff Hamiel, executive director, CEO.

Governor Mark Dayton praised this as an example of progress in Minnesota’s clean energy economy in his release of the first ever Minnesota Clean Energy Economy Profile, led by Minnesota State Departments of Commerce and Employment and Economic Development, with support from a committee of industry leaders, under the National Governors Association Policy Academy.

The study was conducted by an economic consultant, Collaborative Economics, and was funded by the McKnight Foundation and the Energy Foundation.

This project will create 250 new jobs, and make airport one of the most energy-efficient in the world, said, Governor Dayton, who passed a new solar energy standard requiring utilities to produce 1.5 percent of their electricity from solar power by 2020.

Minnesota has a growing clean energy economy that sustains local jobs and attracts investment. Besides, the employment in clean energy sectors reached 15,300 in 2014.

Ameresco has been contracted to lead the airport solar project in partnership with a number of Minnesota-based entities including tenKsolar, Thrivent Financial, Cooper Lighting/Eaton Corporation and Hunt Electric. Xcel Energy was also a key contributor, with a $2 million grant from their Renewable Development Fund.

This is a celebration of proving ground for renewable innovation in the state of Minnesota, the largest solar site in the state to date, said, George P. Sakellaris, president and CEO, Ameresco.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission hired Minneapolis-based GreenMark in March 2012 to explore the possibility of developing a major solar energy generation facility at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which helped identify potential solar solutions and developers for this project.

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