The county Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved Sacramento International Airport’s selection of Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. to develop a series of solar power arrays that will increase the airport’s use of renewable energy sources while saving more than $20 million over the next 25 years.
Borrego will design, build and install solar photovoltaic panels on a 17-acre site north of the airport runway, a 15-acre site east of Aviation Drive and an unused gravel lot. Solar arrays will generate 7 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 1,600 homes. The project will provide up to 30 percent of the airport’s electricity and is expected to be operational in 2016.
Sacramento County will pay nothing for the system, which Borrego estimates will cost $15.2 million to install. Borrego will implement a Power Purchase Agreement that allows the company to get a 30 percent federal renewable energy investment tax credit and incentives of up to $1.4 million from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), which partnered with Sacramento International Airport on the project.
In return, Sacramento International Airport will be able to purchase electricity at below-market rates that will not rise over the duration of the contract.
“The airport’s solar project demonstrates that using sustainable energy sources is not only good public policy but a smart business decision,” said Phil Serna, chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. “This is the kind of project that we encourage in Sacramento County.”
The agreement is expected to save Sacramento International Airport $850,000 a year over its 25-year lifespan. Borrego will also provide real-time data acquisition system on electrical usage to help the airport monitor electricity usage and to locate additional options for saving energy.
“Reducing costs while using renewable energy sources a win-win,” said Sacramento County Director of Airports John Wheat. “We can protect ourselves and our customers from rising energy costs while helping to improve regional air quality.”
Learn more about airport planning and design information on the Sacramento International Airport website.