Ameresco to construct 3MW solar plant at Minneapolis St Paul International Airport

2 October 2014 (Last Updated October 2nd, 2014 18:30)

Ameresco has been selected to lead a project focused on the construction of a 3MW solar power plant at Minneapolis St Paul International Airport in Minnesota, US.

Ameresco has been selected to lead a project focused on the construction of a 3MW solar power plant at Minneapolis St Paul International Airport in Minnesota, US.

Valued at $25.4m, the project covers construction of a solar installation on the top deck of two Terminal 1 parking structures, and conversion of more than 7,700 metal halide light fixtures in all four parking ramps to energy-saving LED technology.

In addition, four additional electric vehicle charging stations will be installed in the ramps, bringing the total number of MSP charging stations to 18.

"Projects like this one, have significantly reduced carbon emissions in our state while helping create thousands of new jobs."

Metropolitan Airports Commission executive director and chief executive officer Jeff Hamiel said: "This ambitious new solar energy project will create jobs, reduce the airport's carbon footprint and save the Airports Commission hundreds of thousands of dollars a year."

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said: "Minnesota's nation-leading clean energy policies, and projects like this one, have significantly reduced carbon emissions in our state while helping create thousands of new jobs.

"Today's announcement offers more proof that clean energy progress and job creation are complementary objectives."

Claimed to be Minnesota's largest solar generation site, the new plant is expected to generate close to 20% of the airport's total power supply when operating at peak capacity, while increasing Minnesota's cumulative solar capacity by roughly 20%.

Construction work is expected to be complete by October 2015.

Ameresco is collaborating with a number of Minnesota-based entities, including tenKsolar, Thrivent Financial, Cooper Lighting/Eaton and Hunt Electric for the project.

Xcel Energy also served as a key contributor, with a $2m grant from their Renewable Development Fund.

In March 2012, the Metropolitan Airports Commission hired GreenMark to explore the possibility of developing a major solar energy generation facility at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The company helped identify potential solar solutions and developers for the project.