Solar Canopies to Shade Tucson International Airport

Solar Canopy

Tucson International Airport (TIA), has kicked off plans for implementing energy conservation measures by installing solar canopies. With assistance from federal and state grants, TIA will be installing 18-foot-tall solar canopies containing 4,998 solar modules that will cover and provide shade to the entire main terminal parking lot.

It will be designed and built by Tucson firm, Barker Morrissey Contracting, from a proposed system featuring an “enduring, iconic design powered by industry-best components” and will be both “aesthetic and practical in terms of construction”.

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $5.7 million dollar grant to Tucson Airport Authority to fund the design and construction of the first phase of the project, which will generate about 1 megawatt of power annually and feed into the airport’s central utility plant and serve the terminal complex. Overall, the project will feature a 2.5 megawatt photovoltaic array of about 20 feet tall over the entire main public parking lot in front of the terminal once completed. 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. Additionally, the Arizona Dept of Transportation will provide $280,000 to help offset TAA’s federal grant matching requirements for phase 1 of the project.

The three phase project is estimated be to complete within 2-3 years at a total cost of $18 million and employ 20-70 workers. It is predicted to reduce non-renewable energy usage by 40-45% from its central plant. Additionally, vegetated “green walls” housing live plants are planned in order to help create a cooling microclimate effect in the parking area.

TAA President and CEO Bonnie Allin announced that the authority has been working to identify potential funding sources to enable development of a large scale solar energy photovoltaic system, based on TAA’s “commitment to enhancing and preserving natural resources”. US Rep Ron Barber and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild also expressed their support for the project. In a statement released by the Airport Authority, Rothschild stated, “Tucson is a Solar City. It’s entirely appropriate that visitors flying in to Tucson see evidence of our commitment to solar even before they get off the plane. I applaud the Tucson Airport Authority for launching this solar project at the airport”.

ACE Parking would like to applaud our client, Tucson Airport Authority, for taking the initiative in energy conservation and reducing their carbon footprint. Great job TIA!