Denver International Airport’s (DEN) 61st and Pena Station parking facility was recently honored with the International Parking Institute’s (IPI) Best Design/Implementation of a Surface Parking Lot award.
DEN’s newest surface lot adds 800 spaces to the airport’s system. Solar canopies that are part of a microsystem and a public-private partnership cover 609 of those spaces, making this a very unusual parking lot.
The airport partnered with Panasonic and Xcel Energy to provide a battery demonstration project that will examine how a battery system can help integration of renewable energy, reliability of the distribution system, voltage management and peak reduction. The structure is owned by DEN, but the solar system is owned by Xcel Energy. The parking lot at 61st and Peña provides convenient, covered parking and a platform to test new technology that promotes sustainable growth and innovation.
The new lot offers another option when taking a commuter rail train to the airport or to downtown Denver; it’s located at the 61st and Pena Regional Transportation District University of Colorado A Line station and offers daily, overnight, and monthly parking options. The lot is unstaffed, offers eight pay stations, and is checked three times per day. Drivers can access free services that include vehicle location, jump starts, tire inflation, and lockout help. The lot also offers free WI-FI and 11 level-1 EV charging stations, free of charge for parking patrons. A new mixed-use development is planned nearby.
The site’s solar panels feed energy to an onsite battery storage system, which currently helps power an adjacent office building but is planned to power a microgram at the new development. An autonomous vehicle transports passengers between a nearby bus station and the train station.