The Springfield Airport Authority, owners and operators of the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Illinois held a groundbreaking ceremony celebrating the commencement of the installation of a $5.6 million solar array project. The 2.88-megawatt system will be comprised of a combination of roof and ground-mounted solar arrays spanning across three sites producing approximately 4,000,000 kWh annually. The system is expected to offset over 90% of the current electrical needs for three facilities located in the airport's north quadrant.
The Springfield Airport Authority has collaborated with Veregy to design and oversee the construction of this renewable solar energy project. The project will ultimately provide significant operational savings for the Airport Authority and StandardAero and most importantly, cost certainty for a significant portion of their electricity needs well into the future.
Frank Vala, Chair of the Springfield Airport Authority's Board of Commissioners, said "The primary goal of this project has been to provide a renewable, affordable and reliable energy source that provides for long-term cost certainty for one of our largest tenants, StandardAero." Vala continued, "StandardAero is a significant local employer of highly skilled technicians and it is imperative we do all we can to support their efforts for growth and prosperity in our community. Projects like this demonstrate the Airport Authority's sincere devotion to support our community's economic development efforts that provide direct, valuable and meaningful benefits for those who have made significant commitments to our region."
StandardAero is an international company that provides major maintenance,repair and overhaul services for larger business aircraft and its roots in Springfield date back as far as the 1950's.
"At StandardAero, long-term partnerships are extremely important to our company and our employees. We have been an active partner in this community and at this airport for many decades. More importantly, we intend to stay here and continue to grow our business and our relationships," said Tony Brancato, President of StandardAero Business Aviation. "We are excited about the innovative new solar array and we look forward to using this unique alternative energy solution as our primary power source for our facility."
The project capitalizes on efforts the Airport Authority previously completed with the Federal Aviation Administration in anticipation of a solar farm that would have provided power directly into the electrical grid. Now those efforts will be utilized in a net-metering solution directly benefiting the airport and its tenants. Once completed, this project will be the largest airport owned solar array for net-metering in the state of Illinois providing an anticipated savings of $14.1M over a 30 year time period. The Airport Authority will ultimately own the entire system and provide energy to tenants through associated lease agreements. The project is expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions at a value equivalent to over 7 million vehicle miles driven or 7,500 barrels of oil consumed each year.
Al Willis, Veregy Vice President, Midwest stated, "Veregy is excited to be a partner with the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only reduce operating expense but to also provide an additional revenue source to the airport!"
Veregy is a guaranteed performance contractor that provides energy and cost saving solutions that include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, solar, EV, microgrid and building systems control projects that support customer's environmental and financial sustainability goals.
Veregy worked extensively on behalf of the Airport Authority to help secure the Illinois Block Grant Program's Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) for project funding along with a pre-paid power purchase agreement with Balance Solar. Combined, these funding sources provided $3.3 million to help offset over half of the project costs.