Solar panels to provide 20% of Birmingham Airport’s electricity

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Between September 2023 and May 2024, Birmingham Airport (BHX) in the UK plans to install a 6.8MW configuration of solar panels that will provide at least 20% of its on-site electrical power.

The airport plans to install 12,804 photovoltaic panels on a 1.5km-long, 6m-high, noise-blocking embankment, known as the Alpha Bund, which flanks the northeastern edge of the runway, beside the West Coast mainline railway.

Once operational, the new solar array will move the airport closer to its goal of becoming a net zero-carbon airport by 2033 while also reducing its reliance on the power grid. The initiative is also intended to reduce the airport’s exposure to market price volatility.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has confirmed the work constitutes permitted development and does not require planning permission. Working hours will be 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Any noisy work will not take place until after 9am to minimize impacts on the airport’s neighbors. Airport representatives have delivered postcards to keep neighbors informed about the upcoming work.

Simon Richards, chief finance and sustainability officer at BHX, said, “Installing our own green energy sources on our airfield is one of many things we are doing to reduce our carbon footprint and become a net zero operation by 2033. In the next decade, we will see many transformational steps forward in the aviation sector, including the game-changing prospect of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission passenger flights. With the impacts of climate change all too real, steps like this represent us doing our bit to help protect our planet’s future for generations to come.”

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

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As the latest addition to the UKi Media & Events team, Elizabeth combines research skills from her English degree with a keen interest in the meteorological and transportation industries. Having taken the lead in student and startup publications, she has gained experience in editing online and print titles on a wide variety of topics. In her role as Assistant Editor, Elizabeth creates new and topical content on the pioneering technologies in transportation, logistics and meteorology.

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