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Belfast Airport makes £100,000 savings in less than a year from solar PPA

A number of airports are turning to solar for energy savings, such as Gatwick Airport which installed a 50kW in 2012. Image: Orta Solar.

A number of airports are turning to solar for energy savings, such as Gatwick Airport which installed a 50kW in 2012. Image: Orta Solar.

Belfast Airport has saved more than £100,000 in the first ten months of operation of its dedicated solar farm which is generating over a quarter of the airport’s annual electricity needs.

The 4.84MW Crookedstone Road development is located a third of a mile from the main terminal and according to the airport chiefs, at certain peak generation times it has run on solar electricity alone for almost nine hours.

In addition to the money saved from buying this lower cost energy, the development is also improving the airports environmental performance, saving an estimated 2,100 tonnes of carbon emissions each year

Alan Whiteside, operations director at Belfast International airport said: “The solar farm project has exceeded all expectations. From switch-on in March to the end of the year, the 'ballpark' savings were over £100,000.

“The project is consistently delivering a reliable 'green' and cost-saving energy supply for the airport. No other airport in either the rest of the UK or Ireland has a similar energy source and we're delighted with its operation.”

The entire £5 million project was funded, installed and is operated by Lightsource, with the airport buying the clean electricity produced by the solar farm through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource, said: “We worked hand in hand with the team at Belfast to deliver a project which would meet their needs.  Not only has this project significantly reduced their emissions, it has significantly improved their bottom line.”