Helsinki Airport turns to solar energy

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Finnish airport operator Finavia has decided to speed up its ambitious climate program to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions caused by its 21 airports to zero by 2020.

Finavia is among the first European airports to invest in a solar power plant, which is to be located at Helsinki Airport. The construction of the power plant is underway on the roof of Terminal 2 (T2), and is expected to produce energy from late summer 2017.

The entire system, with a total output of more than 500 kWp, will be completed in 2019, and it will be the largest airport solar power plant in the Nordic countries. In addition to Helsinki Airport, Finavia will also increase the use of renewable energy at its other Finnish airports.

Kari Savolainen, CEO of Finavia, commented, “Solar power will produce nearly 10% of the power required in the new energy-efficient terminal areas at Helsinki Airport.”

At airports, carbon dioxide emissions are mainly caused by the energy consumption of buildings, lighting systems and vehicles. Finavia’s climate program consists of a range of different actions to improve this.

Finavia will also significantly increase the use of renewable fuels in ground vehicles at Helsinki Airport during 2017. Buses traveling between the terminal and aircraft will be fuelled by a diesel product manufactured from waste and residue, and smaller airport vehicles are already mainly powered by electricity.

The operations of Finavia’s airports produced 32,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2016. The company has reduced its emissions by an average of 3% per passenger per year over the past 10 years. Finavia’s goal is to engage other companies operating at its airports to use renewable fuels.

Savolainen added, “Finavia is committed to preventing our airports from increasing their carbon dioxide emissions in 2020. In addition to minimizing our own emissions, we are committed to reducing emissions in countries struggling with environmental problems through compensation mechanisms.”

Written by Felicity Butcher

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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