Second array of solar panels to be installed at Medford airport

The construction of a second array of solar panels at the Medford airport should be underway in the next month or so, airport officials reported.

The panels will be on three canopies that will extend from the terminal curb out to the airport's flag plaza near the parking lot. The canopy will be approximately 10 feet wide by 150 feet long, with numerous 3-by-5-foot panels attached. The 25-kilowatt array is intended to further reduce the facility's dependence on fossil fuels.

"It'll give people shade and protection from sun or rain as they get in from the parking lot to the terminal," said Bern Case, airport director.

A majority of the $223,143 project will be paid for with a $170,684 Pacific Power Blue Sky grant, with airport revenues funding the remaining $52,459.

"We hope to complete it before the end of the year, so we'll be getting underway pretty quickly," said Case. "I think (the public) will see progress in a month and a half."

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners awarded the contract to Batzer Construction. The Medford company submitted one of two bids received in August.

The airport put up its first 15-kilowatt array over parking toll booths in October 2012. That array helps power the airport's parking-lot lights, ticket distributors and toll booths.

True South Solar, which installed that array, previously reported the system will reduce the airport's carbon footprint by 372 tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, equivalent to reducing the amount of driving by 652,000 miles or planting nearly 8,000 trees.

Airport officials said a cost savings analysis is not yet available, but a tracker for kilowatt-hours generated daily by the first array can be viewed online at

"It's pretty close to the 15-kilowatt (mark) on even-light days," Case said. "It's been a really good project."

A third array is being considered, though a location hasn't been chosen, airport officials said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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