North America's largest airport solar power system set to open


The largest solar power plant on airport real estate in the U.S. is set to open later this month. Comprising 41,000 solar panels, Indianapolis International’s 12.5 MW PV farm covers 75 acres of previously unused land and will be used to power the airport’s terminal.

It is estimated that the farm will reduce the airport’s carbon emissions by 10,700 tons per year – the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road. The 12.5 MWh of energy produced is enough to provide power for 1,200 average American homes annually.

Designed and managed via a partnership between Telamon and Johnson Melloh Solutions, the plant will be hooked up to 20 Solectrica Renewables SGI 500XT inverters.

Local utility company IPL has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for the plant, and will be connecting the plant to the airport terminal.

Airports and solar plants have become increasingly common bedfellows in recent years. Since early day scaremongering about glare from the panels affecting pilots, to general nervousness about such plants located within airport security zones, one by one, such fears have steadily dissipated. In 2012, Dusseldorf airport completed its own, 8,000-panel PV plant within its security zone – one of the largest of its type in Germany.