Green energy is as important as it’s ever been. Every day, more and more industries (and even entire nations) are committing to going 100% green when it comes to their carbon footprint and/or power needs. Now, it seems that airports are the latest business to have their sites on greener operations. Just to show the world how serious they are about being more environmentally responsible, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport has become the first airport in the U.S. to get 100% of its power requirements from solar energy.
The airport has 10,000 solar panels in a 12-acre field, which helps supply 2.64 megawatts of power. The solar farm was built as a result of a grant issued by the FAA. The success of the Chattanooga airport should spark a trend among airports across the country.
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport should certainly be applauded for its efforts. However, while it’s the first airport in the United States to run 100% on solar power, it’s not the first in the world to do so. That honor goes to Cochin Airport in Kerala, India. It boasts an impressive 46,000 solar panels on its farm. That helps generate an equally impressive 12 megawatts of power.
While the number of airports that are running entirely off solar power is still relatively small, the trend is definitely taking off, and there are a lot of airports across the globe that are getting the ball rolling. The Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii recently installed nearly 3,000 solar panels. The move was a first step toward the airport’s goal of installing over 24,000 panels in total. Denver International and Indianapolis International Airports have also installed solar panels.
Chattanooga happens to be one of the most polluted cities in the country, so the airport is an excellent first step in a larger journey of becoming more carbon-neutral. Eventually, the city hopes to be one of greenest in the United States. If the Chattanooga International Airport is any indication, the city has gotten off to a great start.