“The government is promoting the development of renewable energies such as solar and wind power through the use of tax credits and accelerated depreciation,” said Miriam S. Wrobel, senior managing director at FTI Consulting in San Francisco. “Public institutions such as airports are often unable to take advantage of the tax benefits, so third parties own the assets and sell the generated energy to the airport.”
The prices are locked for 20 to 25 years, but the owner is only paid when the energy is flowing.
Was awarded the contract for the Tallahassee project Original energy, a Miami company that provides clean energy storage solutions. Johan Vanhee, Origis Chief Commercial Officer, said the airport project is a new start for the company. “We are a wholesale renewable energy generator,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of our systems are not located at airports.”
A decade ago a module alone cost around $ 2.50 per watt, and now an entire utility-scale photovoltaic system costs about $ 1 per watt, said David J. Feldman, Washington chief financial analyst for National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a research center based in Golden, Colorado, and funded by the Department of Energy.
“Solar costs have come down significantly over the past decade,” said Alicen Kandt, senior engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab. “It becomes attractive in areas that seem less than ideal.”
One of those overlooked places is where Maine proposed a solar project for Augusta State Airport is expected to provide 7.5 megawatts of power that will be fully fed back into the grid.
“It’s an open space, no harm to anyone, it’s owned by the state, and it’s helping taxpayers and the environment,” said Paul Merrill, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, of the project, which is expected to bring the state more than US $ 6 million – Saving dollars will be 20 years.