Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport constructs solar generation structure

A three-megawatt solar installation is now complete on the top deck of two Terminal 1-Lindbergh parking structures at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Minnesota´s largest solar generation site.

This first-of-its-kind airport project also included converting more than 7,700 metal halide light fixtures in all four parking ramps to energy-saving LED technology. Four additional electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the ramps, bringing the total number of MSP charging stations to 18. It is estimated that the installation will generate close to 20 percent of the airport´s total peak power capacity.

Ameresco, a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, developed the solar infrastructure and LED lighting upgrade. Ameresco also will maintain and operate the system on behalf of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

This solar project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6,813 metric tons annually. This is the equivalent of taking 1,434 passengers off the road in one year. As a result, this effort has already been recognized nationally for its innovation and partnership through awards, including the Airports Going Green Award presented by the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Minnesota Department of Transportation´s 2015 Technology and Innovation in Environmental Stewardship Award.

Xcel Energy, also a key contributor, provided a USD2.1 million grant from its renewable development fund.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is one of seven airports owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. A public corporation of the state of Minnesota, the MAC generates the revenue needed to operate its airports from rents and fees paid by airport users. MSP generates more than USD10 billion in annual economic activity in the metropolitan area and supports more than 76,000 jobs.

Founded in 2000, Ameresco is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for businesses and organizations throughout North America and Europe. Ameresco´s sustainability services include upgrades to a facility´s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants.