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Covered parking and clean energy coming to Quad City International Airport

MOLINE, Illinois -- We've all been there, coming back to the Quad Cities from a warm destination only to find our vehicles buried in snow. Or slightly better, darting through rows in a downpour trying to escape being soaked.

A new initiative by the Quad City International Airport will change that. With funds from the State of Illinois and the U.S. Federal government, the solution will not only provide covered parking, it will help combat climate change.

Last week, the airport board approved building a structures over 200 parking spots in short-term parking. Solar generators will be erected on top of the structures and part of the roof of the airport, producing up to 50% of the power used in the airport's terminal.

This decreases the dependency on power generated by coal power plants within the Mid-American Energy system. Coal power plants produce carbon and carbon dioxide, two major contributors of climate change. Solar power has no carbon footprint, once installed.

Ben Leischner, the airport's director, tells the Quad City Times, "We get the benefit of increased amenity, decreased energy costs and kind of stabilizing the future. Passenger amenity is one of our biggest focuses right now and we want to make sure that...it's a better experience.”

The project is in its design phase right now with construction expected to begin later this Fall with a completion date of March of 2020.

Candy Atkins-Thomas asks via Facebook, "Will it be over both long and short term parking?" The structures will be placed over short-term parking only. One could speculate that a more significant solution for a parking garage for long-term parking is being discussed right now.

Cheryl Drager Goodwin says via Facebook, "More carports, more power! Maybe they could get to zero."

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