Twin Cities airport plans solar power project

Minneapolis-St. Paul airport rooftop solar parking structures Xcel Energy

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is planning a $25.4 million solar power installation to generate nearly 20 percent of the airport's electricity.

Airport officials announced the plans Thursday with Gov. Mark Dayton. They say the installation will be the largest in the state when completed in fall 2015.

The 3-megawatt installation will be built above parking ramps near the main terminal. More than 7,700 parking ramp lights will be converted to LEDs.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission says $23 million is being financed through a federal loan program. Minneapolis-based power company Xcel Energy will provide a $2 million grant.

The commission says calculations were done on sun patterns and panel angles to ensure the installation won't distract pilots.

The Start Tribune reports Minnesota's current solar leader is a 2-megawatt Xcel Energy system in Slayton.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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