The state of Virginia and Dominion Energy recently broke ground on a massive new clean energy project at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia, about 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C.
In a news release, the project was described by Virginia Senator Mark Warner as “the beginning of a historic achievement — a first-of-its-kind renewable energy project at a major U.S. airport.”
The senator went on to say that he is “hopeful this partnership will serve as a model for future renewable energy projects across the country, paving the way for a greener, energy-independent future.”
The solar farm will take up 835 acres of previously unused land in between runways at Dulles Airport and will consist of 200,000 solar panels, per Electrek, and 50 megawatts of battery storage, with that clean energy going into the grid and providing enough electricity to power more than 37,000 homes.
Dominion Energy is also providing the airport with 50 electric vehicles, 18 electric buses, and the aforementioned EV charging stations. The project is expected to be done in 2026.
Air travel is one of the world’s most notoriously polluting industries — around 2.4% of global planet-overheating pollution comes from airplanes. Put another way, the commercial aviation industry produces about 1.1 billion tons of planet-overheating gases per year.
The United States is one of the worst offending countries in the world, as it is responsible for almost one-quarter of that total figure. So, it’s a good thing if airports become involved in some of the solutions to the problems they have greatly exacerbated.
Electrek’s commenters agreed.
“This just makes sense,” wrote one commenter. “All that empty land that can’t be built on otherwise for clearance and safety reasons can definitely house a ton of solar.”
“Airports are a great spot for cheap level 1 [electric vehicle] chargers which are much cheaper to install and support from an infrastructure perspective. I wish airport lots would put them in,” wrote another.
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