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Ithaca Airport Going Green?

Written By: Kellie Meyer
Ithaca Airport Going Green?

June 4, 2013

ITHACA -- (WENY) Big airports in Denver and San Francisco are doing it, running the entire operation on solar energy. Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport might be the next in line for take off. A Buffalo company applied for a state grant to install solar panels at the airport.
     "Over the course of a 20 year contract we would be saving around $300,000," said Bob Nicholas Airport Manager at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.
     It would provide over 1,300 kilowatts of energy, enough to power over 500 homes. If the project's approved the entire airport, from the runway lights to the terminal, will be run completely on solar energy.
     Tompkins County already owns six solar powered buildings, including the library. Using the sun to power all six buildings saves the county almost $13,000 a year.
     "I think it encouraged others in the community to also look at renewable solar energy," said Arel LeMaro, Director of Facilities for Tompkins County.
If the airport project takes off, it would be the largest solar power project in the county by far.  
     Bids for the grant are due by August 29th and a winner will be announced by November. Ithaca Tompkins could by going green as early as next year.