Newcastle International Airport in the UK has announced plans to submit a planning application for a solar farm on its site and has launched a public information process to gather feedback on the proposals.
In January 2020 the airport released a roadmap to become a net-zero emissions business by 2035. Along with procuring a new fleet of electric vehicles, shifting to new technologies and working with stakeholders to reduce their emissions, the ability to generate renewable energy was identified as critical to achieving the airport’s 2035 goal.
A consultation is now open for local residents and stakeholders to provide their feedback on the solar farm proposals before they are submitted to Newcastle City Council as a planning application.
If approved, the solar farm will be built in four phases between 2022 and 2035. Located on land at the eastern end of the runway, the farm will be capable of generating up to 16MW of electricity and will seek to provide 100% of the airport’s electricity requirements through sustainable means. The scheme will also feature battery units to store excess energy for use during the evening or days with less sunshine.
The airport successfully bid for funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the first phase of the project.
Nick Jones, chief executive of the airport, commented, “We are committed to being a good neighbor as well as a responsible organization and, despite a very challenging last 18 months, our plan to become a net-zero emissions airport by 2035 remains a priority. The solar farm project is a key part of our net zero strategy, allowing us to generate our own renewable energy and contribute to the government’s net zero objectives and the City of Newcastle’s Carbon Net Zero 2030 strategy.”