South Africa has just launched the first solar-powered airport in the continent. The airport located in western cape serves over 600,000 passengers annually and has been recorded as another Africa’s first in the continent.
The first phase will supply 41 percent of the airport’s current energy demand. The balance of energy will be drawn from the national grid with supply capacity steadily increased according to demand. The plant is designed to deliver 750 kilowatts of power to the airport once complete.
Photovoltaic technology generates electricity from solar radiation. The use of renewable energy is in line with the Airports Company South Africa’s sustainability goals, the company in charge of the project said. The company wants to reduce its reliance on the national power grid.
The airport will generate its electricity by harnessing energy from sun tapped through photo-voltaic panels which were installed at the cost of almost a million dollars. Airports Company South Africa, which runs the airport, hopes George Airport will be the first of nine airports under its control to run on solar energy as it chases the lofty goal of running airports fully on renewable energy
The company hopes to introduce an energy mix at all nine of its airports, said Skhumbuzo Macozoma, chairman of Airports Company South Africa. The company’s long-term vision is to achieve carbon neutrality in energy consumption and operate green airports. It hopes to achieve a six-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.
This development is quite much received by citizens of the country as it portrays a good image to the continent on its acceptability of renewable energy usage.