Helsinki Airport boosts solar power capability

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Finavia is expanding the solar power plant on top of Helsinki Airport, making it the largest airport-based solar power generation facility in the Nordics.

Solar power panels are being installed on the roof of the new west wing at Helsinki Airport. The airport’s solar power plant was inaugurated almost two years ago, and the extension will start producing energy by the beginning of this summer. Its full capacity will be approximately 330kWp.

Helsinki Airport is carbon neutral-certified, with the electricity used by the airport mostly produced via wind energy, with some solar power in the mix. The growing rooftop solar panel grid will produce around 5% of the energy required in the new terminal extensions, and there are already plans to further extend the airport’s solar capability.

“Next, some solar panels will be installed on the façade of the parking hall, which will be completed next year. The panels will almost cover the entire wall, and the energy produced will be used to recharge electric cars,” said Johanna Kara, environmental specialist at Finavia.

Once this part of the power plant is in use, the solar power production capacity at Helsinki Airport will reach approximately 660kWp. This will make Helsinki Airport’s solar power plant the largest airport power plant in the Nordics, and a large solar power plant by Finnish standards.

Finavia intends to extend the use of solar power in the future, and is identifying places for new systems.

“There are opportunities for additional production. After all, we’ve got plenty of roof area and suitable land areas,” Kara said. “Although wind power plays a bigger role in Finland, it pays to make the most out of sunlight, too. And it’s wonderful how the production costs of solar power have gone down.”

The production of solar power is part of the action points defined in Finavia’s climate program, to help reduce emissions at Finnish airports.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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