As you bask in the sun as you fly into or out of Sacramento International Airport, it might warm your heart to know the sun is also helping to power the airport.
Last week, a 7.9 MW solar array – which the airport boasts is the largest in California – was commissioned and will supply nearly 30% of all the airports electrical needs.
The project was made possible through a partnership between airport officials, Borrego Solar (which built the project) and NRG Energy (which will purchase the electricity produced over a 25-year period under a power-purchase agreement (PPA)).
Instead of being a hostage to fluctuating electricity prices, the airport is locked into a price of slightly more than 7 cents/kWh, in contrast to the 9 cents/kWh they were paying prior to the solar array’s installation.
Over the 25-year agreement, the airport expects to save nearly $1 million annually by producing its own electricity.
LG supplied the more than 23,000 modules for the site, and NEXTracker provided the racking systems that, combined with its tracking system, will maximize the array’s efficiency and energy production.
The installation cost $15 million, although the airport didn’t have to pay any of that money upfront and will pay for it over the life of the PPA.