SunEdison’s photovoltaic (PV) solar energy generating plant at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Florida will be the largest airport solar project in the U.S. Located on 45 acres, the power plant will have 5.5 megawatt (MW) nameplate capacity and will export power directly to the utility grid.
The challenges of entitlement deadlines, protected species habitats, and building code conformance issues placed an already compressed design and construction schedule at risk. Local zoning regulations required two phases of construction. Missing the construction start date could result in a performance penalty for SunEdison. Both phases encompassed more than 40 acres of land development and design for more than 5,000 structural piles to hold nearly 18,000 PV modules interconnected through a 15-kilovolt (kV) collection system.
Kleinfelder delivered a cost-effective design and worked diligently with county and regulatory officials to secure permits and entitlements needed to keep the project on schedule. In response to zoning modifications, Kleinfelder worked with stakeholders to annex the property from county to city jurisdiction and expedite permitting approvals. The project was split into two separate phases to reduce each development footprint. Kleinfelder took an innovative approach to locate and remove gopher tortoises on the site and also mitigated problems with procured ancillary equipment during final inspection.
Using companywide resources to meet specific project demands and schedules, Kleinfelder solved design issues effectively and efficiently, saving the client time and money. Over 25 years, this renewable asset will power more than 22,000 homes, offset nearly 234 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and will have a major carbon reduction.