By Ben Warwick

DENVER (CBS4) – As part of their commitment to sustainability, Denver International Airport will build two new solar farms on airport property. Once finished, the output will match that of almost 6,000 homes in Denver.

Construction on the first of two solar arrays is already underway. Operation is slated to begin sometime in the first quarter of 2022. At that time, construction will begin on the second array. Operation of that array will begin sometime in the third quarter of 2022.

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(credit: iStock/Getty Images)

“DEN has long been at the forefront of developing on-airport solar projects, having installed its first solar array in 2008,” Senior Vice President of Sustainability Scott Morrissey said. “After the two new systems are energized, 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.”

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The airport is partnering with Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company to purchase the electricity through a long-term power purchase agreement. The airport is projecting a savings of about $3 million over 25 years.

Solar panels (credit: AP)

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“Sustainability is one of the guiding principles in our Vision 100 plan which will help prepare the airport for 100 million passengers in approximately 10 years,” airport CEO Phil Washington said. “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.”

Ben Warwick