According to a report from the Telegraph Herald the Dubuque Regional Airport Commission approved awarding an initial contract to Eagle Point Solar for the construction of a $1.5 million solar array on Tuesday (11/29).

Solar power renewable energy
David Carillet

The planned array will be placed next to the Captain Robert L. Martin Terminal Building and will be used to power the structure. This addition looks to save the airport approximately $80,000 per year in energy costs. This is phase 1 in an initiative to possibly install multiple solar arrays at the airport to power much of the complex and get the airport closer to self-sustainability.

“Several airports have already picked up on this. Ideally, we would do another phase that would take care of the airfield lighting, and then we could do a third phase to run our general aviation facilities.”

-Airport Director, Todd Dalsing

To pay for the project, the airport will apply for a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that will cover a majority of the cost. The FAA has already given the airport the "ok" to search for bidders, so the grant application is likely to be approved.

Credit: Dubuque Regional Airport Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
Credit: Dubuque Regional Airport Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program;  Taken from Section 26.45: Overall DBE Three-Year Goal Methodology

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The city will be required to pay around $87,000 of the project cost. The cost to construct the array came in slightly above initial engineering estimates of $1,175,000. Eagle Point Solar, provided the lowest cost of three bids at $1,259,102. Engineering and design fees make up the rest of the costs to the city. Batteries will also be installed next to the array so that solar power generated during the day can be stored for use at night.

Components for the solar array project will be ordered soon, but the high demand for solar technology throughout the country has created longer than normal wait times. As of now, construction is planned to begin spring of 2024.

Photo Credit: Google Earth
Photo Credit: Google Earth

“It’s great to have access to a funding stream that allows us to take a more sustainable approach. It takes a lot of energy to run an airport, so this is a good first step.”

-Dubuque Mayor, Brad Cavanagh

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