Solar Siting Study

The Port of Portland engaged C&S to study siting locations for a solar energy development at Portland International Airport (PDX). The study was intended to help the Port identify viable sites for ground-mounted solar at PDX and to provide advice on how to fund and advance solar investments at PDX within the next five years. Solar siting opportunities emerging from this study will help the Port move toward the 15 MW and 18,000 MWh targets for on-site renewable energy capacity and generation, respectively.
C&S held a series of workshops with the Port to discuss solar siting locations. The workshops, which included representatives from across the Port, focused on reviewing the Port’s rationale for pursuing solar, a review of previously identified sites for solar development, and a discussion of additional potential sites. In total, 15 sites were identified for inclusion in the study.

C&S developed a preliminary analysis of all sites identified, which included a GIS-based assessment to determine which sites are compatible with airport operations and known environmental constraints. This GIS assessment factored in items such as safety areas, object-free areas, Part 77 surfaces, airport surveillance radar critical areas, wetlands, environmental zones, and 100-year floodplains. The preliminary analysis also included an analysis of interconnection potential and costs. Based on a review of electrical documents and input received from the Port, C&S determined the maximum potential interconnection for each site identified based on current utility infrastructure and known improvements planned for the near future.

C&S reviewed the preliminary analysis with the Port during a second workshop, in which participants narrowed down the sites in to a subset to be included in a refined analysis. C&S’s refined analysis provided a more detailed discussion of favorable site elements, any remaining concerns or uncertainties, and next steps or outstanding issues that must be resolved prior to site development. C&S also conducted a glare analysis for each of the highest potential sites to determine if any sites might cause glint or glare concerns for aircraft or the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). Where glare concerns were identified, C&S recommended potential modifications to the siting parameters to mitigate the problems.

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