Aviation property development and management firm Aeroplex/Aerolease Group has partnered with Los Angeles-based PCS Energy to create the first solar energy project at California’s Van Nuys Airport (VNY). The project, consisting of some 4,000 solar panels, will cover 150,000 sq ft on the roofs of the four hangars at the company’s Van Nuys East complex. “We’ve been working on it for a number of months,” said Aeroplex CEO Curt Castagna. “The reflectivity test with the FAA has been approved.”
Once online, the system will generate 2.5 million kilowatts of energy annually—enough to power 200 homes—and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than four million pounds a year. According to the terms of the deal, PCS leased the roof space and will install the panels, as well as retrofit all of the complex’s interior offices, ramp and parking lot light fixtures to LED.
The installation, which will not require any structural reinforcement of the hangars, is expected to be completed and generating power by year-end. Under a separate agreement, PCS will sell 100 percent of the energy to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the next 20 years.
VNY recently achieved Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation for its carbon management and reduction, on a path toward carbon neutrality. It is the first general aviation airport to be so designated.
“There exists tremendous potential for airports across the nation to implement sustainable energy projects, and we hope to continue in these efforts by leading with this initiative,” said Castagna. His company is currently in negotiations for a similar project at Long Beach Airport/Daugherty Field, where it operates a 12-acre facility.