DEN solar projects take off

Colorado's Denver International Airport (DEN) is expanding its renewable energy portfolio with two new solar projects.

New solar arrays will be built near 114th Avenue and Trussville Street on the airport property, DEN confirmed. With a generating capacity of 18.5 megawatts, the arrays will generate approximately 36 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, which is the equivalent to the electricity consumption of almost 6,000 typical Denver residences.

“Sustainability is one of the guiding principles in our Vision 100 plan,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “These additional solar projects will help us improve the sustainability of our energy supply while helping us reach our goal of becoming one of the greenest airports in the world.”


Electric car charging at DEN
Solar energy is just one of DEN's green initiatives. Shown here is another, one of the airport's electric car charging points
Denver International Airport

Construction of the first solar array is underway, with the project slated to enter commercial operation in the first quarter of 2022. Construction of the second array will begin in the first quarter of 2022, with the project set to reach commercial operation in the third quarter of 2022.

“DEN has long been at the forefront of developing on-airport solar projects, having installed its first solar array in 2008, said Scott Morrissey, senior vice president of sustainability. “After the two new systems are energised, the airport will have solar panels spread across over 140 acres of land, making DEN one of the largest hosts of solar energy at any airport in the world. Additionally, DEN will increase its total solar energy generation capacity to 34 megawatts and will more than double the amount of solar energy hosted at DEN.”

Through a partnership with Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company (GREC), the airport will purchase the electricity via long-term power purchase agreements that are expected to save DEN more than $3m over 25 years.