The workforce creating the brand new 320-acre, 42 MW AC solar farm on the Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) says the Tallahassee Solar II project has been accomplished after practically two years of planning, design and coordination that included the airport, the City of Tallahassee’s electrical utility division, Origis Energy, Michael Baker International, GameChange Solar and dozens of contractors and businesses.

The new facility joins TLH’s present solar farm, which got here on-line in 2018. Together, the 2 solar farms span 400 acres and produce 62 MW AC per 12 months.

Mariben Andersen, senior affiliate and environmental supervisor at Michael Baker International, was accountable for the important spreadsheet and lots of different components of managing the project, together with environmental assessments. When timing problems got here into play, Andersen labored with workforce members to morph sequential components into concurrent duties wherever potential to streamline the schedule and get monetary savings.

Although the 2 initiatives at TLH occurred lower than two years aside, panel efficiencies improved dramatically because the first project was accomplished as a result of speedy developments in solar technology. This significantly got here into play for Jason Thomas, director of growth for Origis Energy, as he ensured well timed procurement of the lengthy lead-time gadgets resembling transformers, inverters and panels. Advancements in panel technology resulted in a extra environment friendly use of the land.

Ben Cowart, supervisor of different energy with the City of Tallahassee, dealt with contract negotiations for 3 key contracts: the energy buy settlement with FL Solar 4 LLC, the land lease between the town and TLH, and an interconnection settlement, which permits an electrical era supply to attach into the town’s electrical system.

Takeaways from Tallahassee Solar I made the development of the bigger second project run extra easily, and new classes from Tallahassee Solar II will assist information different airports contemplating their very own solar initiatives. While every of the contributing entities had various priorities, their takeaways share some frequent themes: coordination, collaboration, communication and contingencies.

From the airport’s perspective, the solar farm gives an important supply of non-aeronautical income on what would in any other case be an unused parcel of land. 

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