Truckee Tahoe Airport first installed solar-powered taxiway lights in 2003 as part of a program to improve safety at its picturesque general aviation airport located in Lake Tahoe, California.
After an extensive comparative economic analysis, Truckee Tahoe Airport was able to save more than US$272,000 over an 8-year period versus using a traditional hard-wired system. In addition, the opportunity cost saved was an estimated value of US $975,000 that could be put toward upgrading other airport infrastructure. By installing solar-powered LED taxiway edge lights, Truckee Tahoe Airport will also benefit from energy and maintenance savings of US$18,000 annually.
More than 600 solar lights provide poor weather, evening, and nighttime guidance on all of their taxiways. The A601 and upgraded A650 lights are mounted on top of flexible, retroreflective markers that ensure the lights are not buried during extensive snowfall.
FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding was used to acquire the system, which has been in continuous service, year-round, for more than 12 years. Maintenance staff appreciate that the lights are optically-compliant, self-contained, and require minimal maintenance.