Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FYI), the leading air transport center for the City of Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley, along with WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corporation, developer and marketer of patented high-energy solar arrangements, recently opened the biggest solar airport facility up to now in the United States.
Fresno Yosemite International Airport is a public airport situated in southeast Fresno, in Fresno County, California. The airport covers 2,150 acres and has two runways and one helipad; it is the major air transport center for the San Joaquin Valley, with leading air carrier service to airline hubs throughout the Western United States. Presently, nine carriers are offering Valley passengers almost 48 daily around-the-clock departures from Fresno.
WorldWater & Solar Technologies Corp. is a full-service solar electric engineering and water management company with unequaled, high-power and proprietary solar technology that can not only generate and distribute electrical energy, but can drive 1000 horsepower motors and pumps from sunlight independently or in alignment with the electric power grid, offering solutions to a broad spectrum of the world's electrical energy and water troubles.
"The solar arrangement will allow for an amazing 40% of the power supply called for to run the everyday requirements of the airport such as lighting, air conditioning, controls and tower communications," says Russ Widmar, Fresno Aviation Director. "Using inexhaustible solar power will lessen overhead costs and amend the financial performance of our operations. In addition, the solar facility has been constructed on land situated near our runways that up until now was unusable. We hope that other airports will follow our lead by converting to solar energy."
"This event is a milestone marking the increased popularity of solar as a viable source of alternative energy, particularly now as the cost for fuel and electricity continues to rise to unprecedented levels," says Frank Smith, CEO, WorldWater & Solar Technologies. "We provided Fresno with a 2-megawatt, ground-mounted solar system spanning 9.5 acres, or the equivalent of seven football fields. The project is expected to save the airport about $13 million dollars over the next 20 years."
Partners in this project include Sharp Solar, which provided the solar panels for the project, Xantrex Technology Inc., which supplied the inverters, and Solar Power Partners of Mill Valley, CA which will control and manage the arrangement and will supervise the sale of the solar generated power to the airport through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA. The PPA financing structure has enabled the airport to adopt solar power with no capital expense. Additionally, PG&E, the local electric public utility, will supervise the net- metering link with the power grid. PG&E is also the administrator of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) incentive scheme.
"As a world leader in solar electricity, Sharp has helped many forward-thinking organizations reduce its environmental footprint and achieve sustainability," added Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp's Solar Energy Solutions Group. "We're pleased to support Fresno Airport's pioneering solar project."
"Solar Power Partners applauds the City of Fresno and the Fresno International Airport for their leadership in the adoption of solar energy. The success of the Fresno Airport project sets a wonderful example for other airports and municipal entities to follow as we all strive to reduce greenhouse gases and manage energy costs," said Alexander V. Welczeck, CEO of Solar Power Partners.
"This installation will help protect the environment with a major alternative energy resource," said Al Galvez, PG&E Manager of Fresno Government and Community Relations. "We also believe that this will help build momentum at the national level for sound renewable energy policies that will surely be discussed in the months ahead."