Torino Airport installs photovoltaic system

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Torino Airport has inaugurated what is claimed to be the largest photovoltaic system ever installed on the rooftop of an Italian airport.

The system consists of 3,650 modules covering a total area of 6,450m2 (roughly the size of a normal soccer pitch). When fully operational, the new photovoltaic system will be able to generate 1,585MWh of electricity per year. With this size, the system will be able to meet up to 12% of the airport’s annual needs, or about 60% of its hourly consumption on a sunny day.

Photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roofs of the passenger terminal, on the roof of the baggage handling system (BHS) building and on the roof of a technical building. The electricity produced by the solar plant will enable Torino Airport to avoid the emission of 406 tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of planting 13,550 trees.

The photovoltaic modules have a lifespan of up to 40 years and a high performance index. The modules are designed to produce 60% more energy in the same space over 25 years, offering high mechanical resistance to degradation and not causing glare.

The new photovoltaic system forms part of the Torino Green Airport roadmap for environmental sustainability, which was launched in 2021 and includes all the measures already implemented by the airport, those currently underway and those planned for the future, with the aim of achieving zero emissions under its control well before the 2050 deadline. Among the initiatives already underway is the replacement of the airport’s ground handling vehicles with all-electric vehicles, enabling a 100% green turnaround process, and the launch of an electric ambulance. Another milestone in the Torino Green Airport journey was the achievement of the ACA-Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ environmental certification in 2022. Finally, as a partner in the European TULIPS project, dedicated to innovation for environmental sustainability in the aviation industry, Torino Airport has already installed the first photovoltaic system as part of a smart grid at the airport fire station.

Elisabetta Oliveri, president of Torino Airport, commented, “With today’s inauguration, Torino Airport gives further concrete expression to its sustainability plan and confirms the SAGAT group’s commitment to ‘Change is possible’. The inauguration of the new photovoltaic system marks an important step forward in the implementation of our business plan, of which sustainability and technological innovation are two fundamental pillars, together with the many other measures we are taking to mitigate the effects of climate change, confirming Torino Airport’s excellence in the field of sustainability.”

Andrea Andorno, CEO of Torino Airport, emphasized, “We are very proud to have realized this new infrastructure work, which marks the beginning of the airport’s journey toward self-sufficiency in energy. The new photovoltaic plant represents a further step in our commitment to reducing emissions: this green energy, together with the growing fleet of airport vehicles and equipment that we are gradually electrifying, is part of a well-defined path of our green transition. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the sector’s move toward zero emissions, and we are confident that the aviation industry as a whole will quickly follow suit.”

Pierluigi Di Palma, president of ENAC (the Italian Civil Aviation Authority), said, “Today’s inauguration represents a further step in the process of decarbonizing the air transport sector. A path that involves all Italian airports and confirms ENAC’s commitment to reconciling air transport and the environment. We are therefore fully implementing ENAC’s mission to develop fair competitiveness while respecting the environment. ENAC is making every effort to facilitate the simplification of authorization procedures that will allow airports to move toward forms of decarbonization, CO2 reduction and limitation of environmental impact.”

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

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