Birmingham airport (BHX) has announced plans to install thousands of solar panels, to help it reach its target of net zero operations by 2033.
A total of 12,804 photovoltaic panels will be installed on the ‘Alpha Bund’ – a 1.5km-long, six metre-high noise-blocking embankment flanking the northeastern edge of the runway beside the West Coast main line railway.
The work will take place between September 2023 and May 2024, by which time the 6.8-megawatt configuration will provide at least 20 per cent of the airport’s on-site electrical power.
BHX said that the solar panels would reduce its reliance on the power grid and its exposure to market price volatility, as well as moving it closer to its net zero carbon goal which was first announced in 2019.
The airport is in the midst of a £40 million project to create a new security hall, with part of the work including the installation of solar panels to provide power for its new-generation CT scanners.
Commenting on the news 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.”