Following installation of a 15-kilowatt array of solar panels over the Medford airport's electric toll booths, airport officials are moving forward with plans to build a second larger set.
Airport spokeswoman Kim Stearns said the new 25-kilowatt array will be installed over the airport entrance and extend out to the parking lot's flag plaza. Airport officials say they hope to wrap construction by year's end.
"That's our goal," Stearns said. "We're still in the deliberation phase of how we're going to move forward."
The estimated $251,000 project will be funded in part by a $170,000 grant from Pacific Power's Blue Sky Block Program. The airport will pay for any leftover costs. Power generated from the second array will go back into the Pacific Power grid.
Ashland-based True South Solar installed the first array. The company reported the system will reduce the airport's carbon footprint by 372 tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. This is equivalent to reducing the amount of driving by 652,000 miles or planting nearly 8,000 trees.
The 15-kilowatt panels use the sun's rays to generate power for the airport's parking-lot lights, ticket distributors and toll booths. The 7-acre lot has a 1,000-car capacity.
"Installation on that structure went very smoothly," Stearns said. "Traffic wasn't impeded."
Airport officials added it is too early to conduct an analysis on energy savings, but a tracker for kilowatt-hours generated daily by the first array can be viewed online at www.mypvpower.com/dashboard/2091.