Long Beach airport (LGB) officials are celebrating the completion of the largest solar energy project on the airport campus, marking a milestone in LGB's growing sustainability programme. Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, an aviation property development, consulting and management firm that holds an LGB master lease, installed the new system on its building, which is also host to Signature Flight Support's FBO.
“I'm happy to see this successful collaboration between Long Beach airport and Aeroplex, a leading member of our aviation community,” says mayor Robert Garcia. “Our airport is committed to setting the standard for sustainability among US airports.”
The large footprint of the solar electric system, constructed by Current Energy, consists of nearly 1,000 solar panels mounted on 55,000 sq ft of the Aeroplex rooftop at 3333 E. Spring St. The panels generate 380 kW of solar power per year, which is a greenhouse gas emissions reduction equivalent to one million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.
“I'm proud that our local businesses continue to innovate in ways that are both good for the economy and the environment,” states councilwoman Stacy Mungo “Especially during the challenging times of the pandemic, Aeroplex, along with other airport-based businesses, contributes to our economy by supporting local jobs and industry.”
“The aviation industry is making significant investment and headway in efforts to reduce its carbon footprint with solar power and new sustainable alternative biofuels,” says Aeroplex CEO Curt Castagna. “This project demonstrates the environmental and business value of investing in green ventures, and we hope it will serve as a model for other aviation firms.”
In addition to commercial airline operations, LGB maintains a portfolio of Class A office buildings, hotels, retail, industrial facilities and a municipal golf course. The entire airport campus encompasses 1,166 acres. Aeroplex, a master tenant at LGB since 1984, has a 15-acre site with over 200,000 sq ft of premier aviation facilities that are home to diverse aviation businesses that support approximately 300 local jobs.
“We continually strive to minimise the environmental impact of airport operations, and these efforts from our business partners provide a major boost towards meeting our sustainability goals,” remarks Long Beach airport director Cynthia Guidry. “I applaud Aeroplex and Signature Flight for completing a project with such economic and environmental value to our community.”
The City of Long Beach plans to build a large photovoltaic system on the roof of LGB Parking Structures A and B, with construction set to begin in the spring of 2021. It is one of 10 such solar projects planned throughout the city.
In 2018, the city council unanimously approved an item, sponsored by mayor Robert Garcia and councilwoman Stacy Mungo, that requested that the city develop a plan to lead the nation on sustainability for airports and to work with airlines and other partners to become an incubator of clean tech in aviation, with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral facility. LGB continues to make significant strides towards this goal, including installing 15 electric chargers last year to take advantage of the airlines' complementary investment in zero emissions vehicles.