Ostend-Bruges Airport to become Belgium’s second-largest solar park

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Energy company EnergyVision is to install 66,200 solar panels on the grounds of Ostend-Bruges Airport, reportedly making the airport the second-largest solar panel park in Belgium.

The panels have a total capacity of over 40MWp. The airport is thus making its own energy consumption, that of Antwerp Airport and that of almost 10,000 Ostend families 100% green.

In autumn 2023, EnergyVision will begin installing 66,200 solar panels at Ostend-Bruges Airport. EnergyVision, which is responsible for installation, maintenance and financing, is investing €35m (US$38m) in the installation of the solar panel park. The solar panels at the airport will enable annual production of nearly 37,000MWh. The production of solar energy will also save 9,600 tons of CO2 each year.

The generated energy will initially be used to supply electricity for the entire airport site, enabling the airport to operate on 100% green electricity. However, with an annual electricity production of almost 37,000MWh, the airport will generate much more electricity than it can consume. Therefore, part of the green power generated will be diverted to Antwerp Airport. The remaining power generated will go directly to local residents.

The solar panels will be placed in three locations at the airport. The two largest zones are on the airport’s grass areas next to the runway. The third zone is on aircraft parking Apron 2. The zone where passengers walk from the gates to the aircraft will be completely covered and roofed with solar panels. This will enable passengers to walk to the aircraft in comfort even when it is raining, and will also generate energy. The total area of the solar park is about 303,864m2.

The introduction of solar energy forms part of the airport’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. In the next phase, energy storage capabilities will be added. EnergyVision and Ostend-Bruges Airport are already looking into the installation of kinetic tiles, whereby travelers can generate electricity as they walk. Ostend-Bruges Airport is also participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, which aims to make airports worldwide carbon neutral by 2050.

Eric Dumas, CEO of Ostend-Bruges Airport, said, “In addition to greening our own power consumption, the remaining energy we get from the solar panels will be able to be used by nearly 10,000 families in the area. For us, it is important that our neighbors can also benefit from this. Every new, green and innovative decision we take also has a positive impact on economic growth in the region. With this, the airport aims to create added value not only for travelers by focusing on smooth and fast service but also for its environment.”

For more key sustainability updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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