A huge solar + storage + EV project just launched at Dulles Airport

Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia is going to host a solar, battery storage, and EV project – the US’s largest clean energy project at an airport.

The state of Virginia and Dominion Energy officials broke ground on the $200 million clean energy project yesterday. The solar farm will sit on 835 acres of Dulles Airport’s grounds between runways. The 100-megawatt (MW) solar farm will be made up of 200,000 solar panels and 50 MW of battery storage. The power will go to the grid and provide 37,500 households with power.

Instead of annual lease payments for the use of the airport’s land, Dominion is providing Dulles with 50 EVs, 18 electric buses, and EV charging stations, and it will also build 1 MW solar carports that will send clean power to the airport’s operations.

Construction will begin later this year, and it’s expected to come online in late 2026. Dulles and Dominion say it’s expected to create 300 construction jobs and $200 million in economic activity.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) said, “This groundbreaking marks the beginning of a historic achievement – a first-of-its-kind renewable energy project at a major U.S. airport… With additional federal investments in clean energy made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act, I’m confident that Virginia will continue to lead the way in innovative clean energy production.”

Electrek’s Take

Aviation creates 12% of CO2 emissions from all transport sources, and 80% of aviation CO2 emissions are emitted from flights of over 1,500 kilometers (932 miles). The US is responsible for nearly half of worldwide CO2 emissions from aircraft. But people are going to fly – so we’ll take every clean energy initiative we can get, and hopefully, other airports adopt Dulles’ model ASAP while the world is trying to figure out how to make flying more sustainable.

Read more: Here’s how much money you’ll get with the Inflation Reduction Act

Photo (rendering): Dominion Energy

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