Denver International Airport installs new solar power array

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Denver International Airport's fourth solar power array is now online, bringing the airport's total solar energy capacity to 10 MW.

The Solar IV array is located on the north side of DIA's property, and is capable of generating up to 2 MW, or 3.1 million kWh of solar electricity annually. The array has the capacity to offset an estimated 2,200 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions each year, and generate enough renewable energy to power about 500 typical Denver residences.

The developer for the Solar IV project is Oak Leaf Energy Partners. The project cost of about $6 million will be paid for by the owners, Denver Solar IV, LLC. DIA will buy the electricity generated by the array over a 20-year period at a cost per kWh that is less than the average cost DIA pays to Xcel Energy for electricity.

Some of the electricity generated by Solar IV will be used directly at DIA, while excess electricity will be sold to Xcel Energy's grid. The electricity that is used at the airport will power the Denver Fire Department's Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Training Academy.

DIA installed its first solar array in 2008. Solar II came online in 2009, followed by Solar III in 2011. The airport now has a total of 42,358 individual solar panels spread across 55 acres of solar fields.

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