Denver International Airport Dedicates 2-Megawatt Solar System

August 20, 2008

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper helped dedicate the new 2-megawatt (MW) solar energy system at Denver International Airport (DIA) on August 19. The solar photovoltaic system, spanning 7.5 acres at the airport's entrance, will produce more than 3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

MMA Renewable Ventures, a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC, owns and operates the 2-MW system. MMA Renewable Ventures joined with WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corporation and DIA to develop a public-private partnership to leverage tax credits and incentives to finance the solar system. WorldWater designed the system using more than 9,200 Sharp solar panels and a single-axis tracking system that follows the sun for greater efficiency and production.

The project is part of the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards program and will receive a rebate to offset the upfront construction costs. Xcel Energy will purchase the renewable energy credits from the electricity produced to help meet the utility's requirement under Colorado's Renewable Energy Standard. The standard mandates that large utilities generate 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

The project is expected to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere by more than 6.3 million pounds each year.

"This installation at Denver International Airport fits with our Greenprint Denver action agenda for sustainability and our pledge to do all that we can to reduce our carbon footprint," said Mayor John Hickenlooper. "We are proud to have such a large and prominently placed solar power system at DIA. This installation is both a symbol and a practical example of the city's commitment to renewable energy."

DIA is one of three U.S. airports to be accepted into the Environmental Protection Agency's National Performance Track Program. The program drives environmental excellence by encouraging facilities with strong environmental records to go above and beyond their legal requirements.

Operated by the City and County of Denver, DIA is the fifth busiest international airport in the United States, serving nearly 50 million passengers annually. With the City of Denver, Xcel Energy has developed an educational display in DIA's Jeppesen Terminal to explain the benefits of solar energy.

For more information, see the August 19 article in solarbuzz and the Worldwater & Solar Technologies August 19 press release (PDF 317 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Colorado, see: