Borrego Solar Brings Solar Power to Yet Another Airport


Borrego Solar announces plans to bring solar to the San Diego International Airport. The 3.3 MW solar system, which will offset a projected 10%-13% of the energy needs for Terminals 1 and 2, will be the third airport installation for Borrego Solar.


Airports around the country have been adopting solar rapidly of late. Today, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., a designer, developer, installer, and financier of grid-tied solar PV systems, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority announced a partnership to bring solar power to the San Diego International Airport (SDIA).

This will be the third airport installation for Borrego Solar, which is currently installing solar at airport facilities in Massachusetts and New Jersey.


Borrego Solar will develop a 3.3 MW solar system on the roof of the newly expanded Terminal 2 West at SDIA and in a section the Terminal 2 short-term parking lot adjacent to terminal. The solar developer plans to break ground on the project in mid-2014, with an estimated completion date in late 2014.


The system is expected to generate about 5.3 million kWh of electricity in its first year of operation. That will be enough power to offset a projected 10%-13% of the energy needs for Terminals 1 and 2.


Borrego Solar will build and finance the system through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), which will save the Airport Authority a projected $3 million to $8 million over the contract period. With the PPA, the Airport Authority will go solar at no upfront cost and will purchase clean solar energy for less than what it would otherwise pay to the local utility.


“This solar project — the first at the airport — will be a noteworthy and visible highlight of our ongoing commitment to sustainability,” said Thella F. Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, owner and operator of SDIA. “By partnering with Borrego Solar, we will boost our sustainability efforts with clean energy generation, providing environmental benefits to the region and financial savings to the Airport Authority. And we’re happy to be working with a company that is a local San Diego success story, employing local workers in construction of this project.”


In 2008, SDIA was the first major airport in the nation to adopt a formal sustainability policy, which includes a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving LEED certification in all new construction. In February, SDIA was the first U.S. airport to sign the Climate Declaration, a call to action organized by the nonprofit Ceres. In 2012, it was the first U.S. airport to publish an annual sustainability report based on Global Reporting Initiative guidelines, a reporting framework for sustainability-related performance.


“As a San Diego-based company who makes extensive use of the airport, we are especially proud and excited to be partnering with SDIA on their first major solar project,” said Borrego Solar CEO Mike Hall. “This project will be a great complement to the energy reduction initiatives the airport has already undertaken and will show others in the region that the technology exists for large energy users to make a cost-effective switch to reliable on-site solar energy.”