Airport Parking Taps Renewable Energy

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Jackson County’s Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport broke ground last October on its first renewable energy project. Funded in part through Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Block program, the project includes the installation of a 15kW solar-electric system, which is mounted to a 30′ x 60′ standing seam metal roof canopy. The canopy covers three toll booths servicing long- and short-term parking.

The project will be the first step for the airport to capitalize on its solar resource and reduce power costs which directly affect operating costs. The pitch of the canopy, plus perfect (non-shaded) solar access, makes the installation an innovative demonstration project for the community. With over 600,000 passengers and visitors at the airport each year, the installation will be seen by everyone accessing the front terminal area.

The project is eligible for an Energy Trust incentive.

“The collaboration between Jackson County, Pacific Power, and the Energy Trust is a win-win,” said Kim Stearns, security credentialing manager for the Jackson County Airport Authority. “The collaboration helps to promote innovation and increase the visibility of renewable energy generation technologies through education and community outreach.

“The impact of the project will be the approximate equivalent of taking two average, Northwest households off the grid.”

According to Stearns, local companies helped make the project a reality. RHT Energy Solutions conducted the site evaluation and helped guide the Airport through the grant process. True South Solar is the general contractor for the project.

According to the Pacific Power website, more than 80,000 customers are currently participating in the Blue Sky program. Since the Blue Sky program began in 2000, Blue Sky customers supported more than 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy, equivalent to the output of 772 utility-scale wind turbines over a 12-month period.

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