Glasgow Airport, in partnership with leading energy transition adviser and developer Ikigai Group, has completed the development phase and the subsequent successful financial close for a 19.9MW solar plant with Zestec Renewable Energy. According to the airport, it will be Scotland’s largest airport-based solar farm and approximately £18.5m (US$23.5m) is being invested to create it.
The 40-acre ground-mounted solar farm, to be located on Glasgow Airport-owned land next to Barnsford Road, will be built in phases to accommodate the current and future demand of the airport as well as neighboring businesses, which will be able to access low-cost, green energy. Construction will take place over the coming months, with the completion of the first phase expected in the summer of 2024.
Following a successful tender process led by Ikigai, Zestec was selected as the preferred partner to undertake the development, including construction, procurement and operation of the project. The plant will be owned and operated by Zestec, which is owned by funds managed by Octopus Energy Generation, and on completion is expected to produce energy equivalent to that required to power light for approximately 15% of homes in the city of Glasgow. The Ikigai Group funded and carried out the development of the project.
Ronald Leitch, operations director of Glasgow Airport, said, “The development of the solar farm marks a key milestone in our sustainability journey by giving the airport the ability to generate clean energy on-site. This will advance our plans to decarbonize our own operations while supporting the net-zero ambitions of our airport partners and neighbors. Importantly, it also creates the foundation to turn the airport into an energy hub and allows us to progress our plans to support zero-emission flights. We look forward to working with Ikigai and Zestec, who share our vision for a sustainable future.”
Helena Anderson, chief operating officer of the Ikigai Group, stated, “This project is part of our Energy Innovation advisory mandate to create a low-carbon, multi-fuel, multi-modal energy hub, futureproofing the airport’s infrastructure. We are currently working with the airport on additional on-site energy solutions, including the rollout of EV charging and green hydrogen production, with low-cost, private wire solar energy as the enabler.”
Toby Smith, chief operating officer of Zestec, commented, “We are excited to include this solar plant in our growing family of behind-the-meter solutions designed to help Glasgow Airport decarbonize its operations. Our collaboration with the airport and Ikigai aligns perfectly with our goals.”
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