By David Wichner for the Arizona Daily Star
Over the next couple of years, Tucson International Airport plans to install a solar-powered canopy over the entire main terminal parking lot, with the help of federal and state grants.
The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $5.7 million grant to Tucson Airport Authority to fund design and construction of the first phase of the project which, when complete, will feature a 2.5-megawatt photovoltaic array about 20 feet tall over the entire main public parking lot in front of the terminal. Local firm Barker Morrissey Contracting will design and build the array, the airport authority said.
In addition, vegetated “green walls” with live plants are planned in order to help create a cooling microclimate effect in the parking area, the airport authority said. Parking rates for the main terminal lot will not change because of the solar structure, airport officials said.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will also provide $280,000 to help offset TAA’s federal grant matching requirement for phase one of the project. The entire three-phase project is estimated to be complete in two to three years at a total cost of $18 million and employ 20 to 70 workers.
The federal grant is part of a new program that provides funding for airport projects that promote energy efficiency under the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.
Read more at AZStarNet