Solar Energy Projects Take Flight at Van Nuys Airport

10/24/2018 03:51 PM

New solar electricity-generating capacity furthers reduces carbon emissions
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2018

Diana Sanchez - VNY Public and Community Relations Director
(818) 216-5290

Mindy Berman - MFB Communications (for VNY Tenant and PCS Energy information)

(818) 280-5106

LAWA - Frederick Badlissi
(424) 646-5260


Van Nuys Airport business tenant Aeroplex/Aerolease Group’s solar rooftop and canopy system, which recently went online, eliminates approximately 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which equates to approximately 6.5 million annual car miles saved. Photo by Bob Beresh.
(Van Nuys, CA) Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) today joined with local elected leaders and aviation executives to further embrace sustainable energy with the announcement of solar power generation at Van Nuys general aviation Airport (VNY). VNY business tenant Aeroplex/Aerolease Group showcased the recent operational launch of its solar rooftop and canopy installation — a first at VNY – and six other business tenants also unveiled solar energy project commitments. This is the first installment of solar power generation at a LAWA airport, with future projects projected to come online, pending regulatory approvals. Upon completion of all seven projects presented today, VNY will become one of California’s leading general aviation airports for solar energy production.

The solar projects highlighted in today’s announcement by VNY aviation companies are:
  • Aeroplex/Aerolease Group (system now operational): 1.5 megawatts (MW), rooftop and canopy (the first such installation at VNY)
  • Valley Sod Farm: 13.8 MW, ground-mount unit, which will become the largest ground-mount solar electric system in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's service territory in the L.A. Basin
  • Castle & Cooke: 1.8 MW, rooftop
  • Clay Lacy Aviation: 1.8 MW, rooftop
  • The Park VNY: 3.3 MW, rooftop and canopy
  • Western Jet Aviation: 1.5 MW, rooftop and canopy
  • Woodley LLC: 3.8 MW, rooftop and canopies

"Since my time on the Los Angeles City Council, I have been a champion of the environment and a proud advocate for renewable energy," said Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), whose district includes VNY. "We must encourage clean energy alternatives for powering our state and nation, and we also must better address the tremendous challenges of man-made global climate change."

He added, "The solar projects at Van Nuys Airport will provide important contributions to environmental improvement, as well as examples for other businesses and organizations in our region and state to follow."

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, whose council district includes VNY, noted the importance of these solar energy projects in improving the quality of life in Van Nuys and surrounding areas. Besides significantly reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the projects will also eliminate approximately 212,700 pounds of sulfur dioxide and 14,500 pounds of asthma particles each year.

"The Van Nuys Airport has always been an economic engine for both the Valley and entire region. Now, with these solar projects and other initiatives, toxins from the area will be removed due to renewable power," said Councilwoman Martinez. "The solar projects not only mean a huge step forward in making our community green, but they also mean the first step toward future development, which includes ground-mounted power to alleviate the burden of local engine noise and fumes."

When energized, all of the systems combined will produce approximately 44.6 million kilowatt-hours annually — enough to power about 8,000 homes each year. In addition, the projects will annually reduce more than 73.3 million pounds of CO2 emissions.

"At Los Angeles World Airports, we are harnessing the power of the sun to deliver gold standard airports that lead in environmental sustainability," said Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. "We are grateful to our tenants at Van Nuys Airport, who are innovating and partnering on this solar initiative, which is both good for the environment and good for business."

For the third consecutive year, LAWA has been recognized as a leader in reducing carbon emissions. Both VNY and LAX recently were recognized as carbon-accredited at the Airports Council International-North America annual conference. These accreditation renewals reflect LAWA's independently verified commitment to reduce air pollutant emissions in line with publicly published reduction goals. LAWA also operates the LAX FlyAway Nonstop Bus Service, which saved over 80,000 vehicle miles – and its associated carbon footprint – from being driven.

The CO2 reduction from today's current and announced solar power projects and commitments equates to planting almost 15,600 trees, or to saving more than 119.1 million car miles driven in a year. Given that the average driver puts in about 13,500 miles each year, this translates into taking more than 8,800 cars off of our roads annually.

These new clean energy initiatives demonstrate a successful partnership between VNY business tenants and PCS Energy, the solar provider that will install the panels for all of the projects. Under power purchase agreements, PCS Energy will supply the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power with 100 percent of the energy produced for the next 20 years.

Matt Petersen, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), applauded LAWA, VNY and the tenants implementing solar projects.

"Our future depends on our ability to rapidly build and implement cleantech and solar technologies like the ones we are celebrating today," he said. "Los Angeles is now a recognized leader on those efforts, with the largest green economy in the nation. That has been at the heart of my life's work and why my organization, LACI, creates critical public/private partnerships in our city and beyond. We know that no one person or organization can solve our climate change challenges, but together we can solve almost anything."

A coalition of international aviation organizations announced that an event will be hosted at VNY in January to reaffirm the general aviation industry's commitment to advancing the development and adoption of Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF). "Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability" will demonstrate that SAJF can become a mainstream, drop-in alternative for today's general aviation aircraft.
Note to Editors: B-roll video from today's event can be found online at High-resolution photos from the event, including speakers and equipment, are available upon request. 

About Van Nuys Airport:
VNY is one of two airports owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a self-supporting branch of the City of Los Angeles, governed by a seven-member Board of Airport Commissioners who are appointed by the mayor and approved by the Los Angeles City Council. One of the world's busiest general aviation airports, VNY serves as a valued San Fernando Valley resource, providing ongoing leadership in general aviation, business and community service. 

Dedicated to non-commercial air travel, VNY had over 230,000 operations in 2017. More than 100 businesses are located on the 730-acre airport, including four major fixed-base operators and numerous aviation service companies. Annually, the airport contributes approximately $2 billion to the Southern California economy and supports over 10,000 jobs.

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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