Executives from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and Pepco Energy Services recently showcased a new solar energy project. The 505-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system, one part of a comprehensive energy performance program, recently was installed on the top level of the airport’s Daily Garage.
“By investing in smart, innovative solutions like this solar initiative,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley, “we are creating jobs and making real progress towards our goal of generating 20% of our state’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2022.”
The solar project installed on a canopy system on the top level of the Daily Garage is designed to produce more than 600,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year. The solar power generation equipment ties directly to the airport’s electrical distribution system. The project was designed to reliably produce energy for more than 20 years.
The BWI Marshall solar project is one measure in the energy efficiency program for the airport. In 2010, BWI Marshall initiated a contract with Pepco to develop a program that would create significant energy and operational savings; today, the power company is nearing completion on specific energy conservation measures throughout the airport.
“Helping our clients cut their energy costs while reducing their impact on the environment is always a major goal of any project that we undertake,” said David Weiss, Pepco Energy Services’ COO. “The fact that this project was awarded the Maryland Quality Initiative 2012 Green Sustainability Environmental Award for Excellence is further recognition of that commitment.”
Beyond the solar project, other energy performance measures include comprehensive lighting improvements, water conservation measures, central utility plant improvements, and enhanced controllers on escalators and moving sidewalks.
The infrastructure improvements and renewable technologies will help BWI Marshall conserve energy, reduce environmental impact and save money. The majority of the cost of the work will be realized from energy and utility savings during the term of the contract.
The BWI Marshall energy performance program reflects the goals of Maryland’s Smart, Green & Growing initiative. Introduced by O’Malley in October 2008, the program was created to strengthen the state’s leadership role in fostering smarter, more sustainable growth and inspiring action among all Marylanders to achieve a more sustainable future.
The initiative brings together state agencies, local governments, businesses and citizens to create more livable communities, improve transportation options, reduce the state’s carbon footprint, support resource-based industry, invest in green technologies, preserve valuable resource lands and restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay.