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Minneapolis Airport Unveils Giant Solar Panels

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Going green is the right thing to do, and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is following suit.

Dennis Probst/Airport EVP: "We have a guaranteed amount of energy that will be produced for the next 20 years."

More than cars are perched atop the red and blue ramps at MSP Airport.

This massive steel structure is generating electricity.

Dennis Probst/Airport EVP: "This is for the moment at least the largest solar array, photovoltaic array in the state of Minnesota."

Dennis Probst is Executive Vice President of the Airports Commission - which just flipped the switch on this 25 million dollar solar farm.

Dennis Probst/Airport EVP: "When we started talking of doing a solar project out here, we wanted to do an iconic project, something that was meaningful and that would be very visible to the public in terms of our commitment to it."

There are 8,700 of these individual solar panels collecting enough energy to supply roughly 20 percent of MSP's demand.

Generating three megawatts of power means less greenhouse gasses from coal burning power plants.

It's like removing 14-hundred passengers cars off the roads for a year.

Holly Lahd/Fresh Energy: "Solar is a great energy cost effective option now."

Fresh Energy's Holly Lahd says it's the kind of commitment to cleaner, more sustainable energy that has other states green with envy.

Holly Lahd/Fresh Energy: "Our statewide goal is around 3 hundred to 4 hundred megawatts of power by 2020, and we're poised to meet or surpass that by the end of next year."

yet beyond the environmental - it makes economic sense too.

Dennis Probst/Airport EVP: "Of the 25 million dollar investment made today to build it, this is worth 35 million dollars in energy savings to us over the life of the project."

MSP will be greener in the future.

The airport is scheduled to build another solar array in early 2016.