From the Chattanooga choo-choo to all-solar airport
Sept 2019—Chattanooga became famous in the 1940’s with the Glenn Miller and Andrews Sisters song about their train. In this century, they’ve just become the first American city to have an all-solar airport.
Now, Tennessee’s fourth-largest city is once again turning heads by claiming a first in the sustainability sector. Earlier this month, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport announced that it had hit a much-anticipated milestone in becoming the first airfield in the United States powered by 100% solar energy.
The end result of an ambitious project that started seven years ago, the airport’s 2.64-megawatt solar farm was completed with about $5 million of funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. That investment is expected to be earned back in under 20 years, as a renewable energy stream brings down the facility’s overall costs of operation. According to a press release, the installation measures about the size of 16 football fields—eight long and two wide.