For the second year in a row, the Albuquerque International Sunport has recieved a federal grant which will allow for the installation of more solar panels.
Mayor Richard J. Berry announced the City of Albuquerque was awarded a second VALE (Voluntary Airport Low Emissions) Grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The $1.8 million grant will provide an additional five photovoltaic solar arrays on the Albuquerque International Sunport parking structure. When the project is complete later this year, the Sunport will have 13 solar arrays capable of producing one megawatt of power. The amount of energy produced will save nearly $200,000 in annual electricity costs for the Sunport.
The Sunport was the first airport in the nation to receive a VALE grant for an on-site solar project. The first grant was in the amount of $2.4 million and provided for six solar arrays. Traditionally, VALE monies were only awarded for vehicles and projects that would directly reduce emissions at a facility. The city made the successful case to the Federal Aviation Administration that a photovoltaic array would reduce emissions not only at the facility, but on a regional scale by reducing electricity needs that come from coal-powered sources.