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Project Experience: FAA Solar Guidance for Airports

The Challenge

Airport interest in solar energy is growing rapidly as a way to reduce airport operating costs and to demonstrate commitment to sustainable airport development. In response, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared “Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports” also referred to as the Solar Guide, to meet the regulatory and information needs of FAA personnel and airport sponsors in evaluating airport solar projects. 

The Strategy

HMMH was responsible for writing and producing the solar guide for the FAA.  Our staff met with airports, toured their facilities and discussed the projects to understand the technical and financial considerations for each project.  That experience provides real-world experience to the industry.

The Solution

The guide is the reference for FAA technical staff who review airport solar projects, and airport sponosrs that may be considering a project.

It addresses a wide range of topics including solar technology, electric grid infrastructure, FAA safety regulations, and financing incentives.

The guidance also discusses new and unforeseen issues associated with solar projects including reflectivity and communications systems interference. 

It includes case studies of operating solar projects at Denver International, Fresno Yosemite International, Bakersfield’s Meadows Field, and Albuquerque International Sunport.