While solar farms are now the standard on the flanks of mountains, be they jagged crests or tidy peaks, solar panels are often found far off on the flat plains of our country’s interior. In fact, one-third of U.S. residential electricity comes from small amounts of solar, and most of these are on large farms — farms that are almost always near the tops of mountains, but far away from people.
For cities and metropolitan areas, the cost of developing such a solar farm — particularly if they need to obtain permits — can be prohibitive. So, however, Houston, Austin, and other cities are finding alternative ways to bring solar energy to their residents.
BrightSource Energy, which develops and operates utility-scale solar projects in southern California, was founded and is based in the Bay Area. It has long been an advocate of finding locations in cities that might not be available on the outskirts of the desert. And the company is now developing a solar farm that’s approximately three miles southeast of the city of Sacramento, where the Oakland Airport has been tapped to serve as a home for solar panels.
While it is difficult to convert an airport directly into a solar farm, it’s quite possible to fill the gaps where solar cannot be satisfied with even rooftop technology.
In Kansas City, plans are in the works to turn a light-rail stop on the BNSF Railway line near I-29 into a solar farm.
Get into the business of converting your airport into a solar farm, and you’ll be providing local residents with clean energy at a minimal cost.