Kyocera Solar Inc. today announced that 25 kW of Kyocera photovoltaic modules now help power Chicago’s Midway Airport’s new environmentally friendly consolidated rental car facility. Installed by Green Power Solutions, the PV system is on the roof of the Quick-Turn Around (QTA) facility, where hundreds of rental cars are washed and refueled daily.
As planes taxi and land, passengers enjoy a great view of the rooftop PV system, which supplies about 30 percent of the QTA’s power needs and provides a strong visual reminder of Midway Airport’s green initiatives. The QTA facility includes nine car wash bays, nine fueling islands, 36 fuel pumps and two 20,000 gallon underground fuel tanks. Water used to wash the rental cars is recycled.
Working together, Kyocera and Green Power Solutions were able to overcome a structural challenge with the installation, which sits on a split-seam metal roof, by modifying a special clamp on the racking system to secure the system in place. Green Power Solutions also installed nine wind turbines in conjunction with Midway Airport’s green initiative. The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is pursuing LEED certification for the project, which receives three “green airplanes” for design and four green airplanes for construction, as rated by the CDA’s Sustainable Airport Manual.
“We chose Kyocera because of its high-quality, reliable solar modules in addition to the strong engineering support they provided, which helped streamline the installation,” said Steve Arwady of Green Power Solutions. “We received expert, hands-on solutions from Kyocera, which tipped the balance when we compared panel for panel at almost the same price. We chose Kyocera, the company that gave us the best service. We intend to partner with them on future projects.”
With thousands of solar industry professionals flying into Chicago for the Solar Power International tradeshow October 21-24, this visible solar installation is an ideal way to show the industry that solar power is growing in the Midwest.
“We’re excited to be a part of Midway Airport’s ‘greening,’ and hope this installation serves as a high-profile reminder that solar power is the smart choice for our nation’s future,” said Steve Hill, president, Kyocera Solar Inc. “With 38 years of solar industry experience, Kyocera is committed to providing reliable products that will help our nation’s municipalities leverage the clean, renewable energy of the sun for decades to come.”
Midway isn’t the only airport going solar with Kyocera. Tucson International Airport recently wrapped up the first phase of a 2.5 megawatt (MW) solar canopy installation using Kyocera polycrystalline silicon modules above the main public parking lot. Completed in August, the 1MW section powers about a third of the terminal complex’s power needs.
— Solar Builder magazine