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Sonoma County Airport to Save $3.1 Million over 20-Year Rooftop Solar Agreement

(Credit: Charles M. Schulz-Sonoco County Airport)

A California airport will reduce power costs and greenhouse gas emissions with a new solar project. The Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport has received authorization from its Board of Supervisors to begin installation of a solar panel canopy system over its long-term parking lot, reports the North Bay Business Journal.

The airport says the canopy will supply power for all of its needs, not including the needs of tenants and concessionaires.

San Francisco-based Forefront Power will own and operate the system, selling the energy back to the airport at a fixed rate of about 13 cents per kilowatt hour, according to the article. While the cost of the solar canopy is estimated at $3.5 million, the agreement is such that the airport will not see any upfront expenses.

The airport expects to save about $3.1 million in power costs over the 20-year life of the agreement. Beginning after the fifth year of the deal, the airport has the option to purchase the solar installation at any time, or to renew the deal in 2041.

Other solar projects from Forefront Power include multiple school districts in California and Illinois. The company says it constantly evaluates the “many solutions on the market” to determine the rooftop racking solution that best meets the needs of each site situation, while financing the project with no upfront cost.

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