Tallinn Airport in Estonia has opened its seventh solar park, meaning the airport will have solar parks with a total capacity of 4.14MW in operation by the end of 2022.
In June 2022 – the parks’ most productive month so far – 23% of the electricity consumed was generated by parks in operation at that time. In addition to switching to renewable energy and ensuring energy efficiency, the airport’s technical fleet has been updated with more electric- and battery-powered equipment.
Between 2020 and 2021, the airport invested more than €1m (US$997,000) in the construction of solar parks alone, and in 2022, it has invested almost €2m (US$1.9m) in green energy in Tallinn. Estonia’s regional airports will also switch to green energy, where the airport plans to invest an additional €1.7m (US$1.6m) in 2022 and 2023. By 2030, the airport is expected to be generating more electricity than it consumes. Tallinn Airport also monitors its CO₂ emissions, and since the airport’s infrastructure is open 24/7 and needs to be well lit, electricity accounts for the largest share of emissions.
Riivo Tuvike, the chairman of the management board of Tallinn Airport, explained, “As electricity consumption accounts for the vast majority of our carbon emissions, it also requires the most attention, which is why establishing solar parks is important to us. We also consider it important to enhance the value of the airport land, and as it is not possible to build large buildings everywhere for safety reasons, we have put these areas to work for the green transition. Companies that have not reduced their environmental impact by 2030 will no longer be in competition.”
Tuvike continued, “In the future, all aircraft and passenger service vehicles moving on the airport’s territory will be powered by electricity, but also likely powered by hydrogen. Already today, we use electric aircraft tugs and loaders, and our employees also use electric scooters to move around the airport. In addition to air, water is also important – the airport is located on the shore of Lake Ülemiste, and the water flows directly into Tallinn Bay from the sewage hatches on the premises, so we take care every day to prevent pollution from our operations and thereby maintain the cleanliness of water bodies and groundwater.”