Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Austin Energy unveil large Community Solar project atop parking garage

April 26, 2021

Solar energy arrayAUSTIN, Texas – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and Austin Energy celebrate the completion of a new solar panel array constructed on the AUS campus that will produce 1.8 megawatts of locally-generated, renewable energy. The new solar array marks a milestone in both Austin Energy’s Community Solar Program and AUS’s portfolio of sustainability efforts. The array will provide 1.5 megawatts of power to the Utility’s Community Solar Program and .3 megawatts of renewable energy benefits toward future airport construction projects and the airport’s administration building. 
 
With 6,642 solar panels spanning across a distance that is equal size to two football fields, the array on the top floor of the airport’s Blue Garage is the largest on-site renewable energy installation on the AUS campus. The panels offer shaded parking for Blue Garage customers and will generate enough solar energy to power up to 160 homes per year.
 
“Adding solar panels to the roof of our garage is a great fit for both AUS and our partner, Austin Energy,” said Jacqueline Yaft, Chief Executive Officer of AUS. “The panels help us meet our goal of utilizing on-site renewable energy, while also supporting our larger Austin community in minimizing impacts on the environment.”
 
Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent agreed. “Austin Energy is excited to partner with the airport on our largest of over 10,000 customer-sited solar projects to date,” said Sargent. “This partnership helps move the entire City of Austin closer to its sustainability goals and serves as a billboard to AUS passengers that our city is committed to renewable energy.”

The Community Solar Program works a lot like a Community Garden – it enables customers who rent or have too much shade to install solar panels to participate in the renewable energy offering. With the addition of this array, the Community Solar Program’s capacity has increased to 4.285 megawatts. The Community Solar Program can now provide enough local, renewable energy to power up to 500 homes. Half of Austin Energy’s Community Solar subscribers are limited income customers participating at no additional cost who are part of the City of Austin’s Customer Assistance Program. Learn more about the Community Solar Program at AustinEnergy.com/go/CommunitySolar.
 
The solar array joins AUS’s continued efforts to incorporate sustainable principles and environmental stewardship into planning, development and operations at the airport.  AUS has partnered with Austin Energy to bring electric vehicle charging stations to the airport campus and uses Austin Energy GreenChoice to provide 100% renewable energy to the Barbara Jordan Terminal. AUS also maintains a robust waste-diversion program, purchases renewable energy and carbon off-sets from sustainable sources and continues to work towards the goal of carbon neutrality. 


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