Metropolitan Airport Recognized For Energy Saving Innovations
By Shane Nolan
February 28, 2012 - Acting Federal Aviation
Administrator Michael Huerta recognized the Chattanooga
Metropolitan Airport's leadership in energy saving
innovation when he helped dedicate their new solar farm.
This exciting development is on the cutting edge of
making our airports more environmentally friendly. The
solar energy the new "farm" provides will also help the
airport cut costs.
The FAA supported the 4.5 acre solar farm with a $4
million Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) grant.
Chattanooga is only one of 52 green initiatives that the
FAA has supported in the last several years to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions at airports across the country.
addition, the airport’s new energy-efficient 9,000
square foot corporate flight center (FBO) terminal
recently earned LEED platinum certification from the
U.S. Green Building Council.
Chattanooga is currently the only aviation terminal in the world
to achieve this highest possible level of energy and
environmental performance. Acting Administrator Huerta said,
“This solar farm and the LEED-certified FBO are examples of how
to build America’s infrastructure so that it’s sustainable for
years to come. They are innovative, clean energy projects that
create jobs and that use American know-how to improve our
nearly 4,000 solar panels south of the airport to generate clean
electricity is an innovative step. It’s environmentally sound,
and it helps improve the air quality in the Chattanooga area.
The energy these panels produce will lower airport greenhouse
gases such as carbon dioxide, and the amount of pollution
reduced will be like taking 200 cars off the roads of
Chattanooga each year.
also help the airport keep its energy costs in check, generating
enough energy to run about one-third of the entire airport’s
operations. The airport plans to add additional solar panels in
the future, eventually powering all its energy needs and even
selling energy back to the local utility company to help power
the city. The airport also gets a credit for its clean energy
As the new terminal and solar farm improve the airport's environmental profile, they will also be a boost to Chattanooga's economy. In fact, civil aviation contributes $1.3 trillion to our economy nationwide and generates more than 10 million jobs.
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