Vienna Airport in Austria is building three new photovoltaic facilities with an output of 2,700kWp to complement the four plants that were installed in August 2019. The new units will be installed before the end of 2020 and this expansion of solar energy will help the airport reduce its CO2 emissions by about 1,800 tonnes per year.
The airport already produces about two million kilowatt hours of electricity annually thanks to its existing photovoltaic plants. With the new plants the airport will increase its yearly electricity generation to more than three million kilowatt hours. Ultimately the solar panel surface area will increase to about 16,000m², the equivalent of approximately the size of three soccer fields. Direct current generated by all the photovoltaic systems will be converted into alternating current by power inverters and fed into the airport’s power grid via transformer stations.
“We have already cut CO2 emissions by 70% and energy consumption by 40% since 2011. This is good, but not good enough,” said Günther Ofner, member of the management board of Flughafen Wien AG. “We have a clearly defined objective to become one of hte very first large CO2 neutral airports before 2030. Our own electricity production will play a major role in these efforts. For this reason, we are expanding the number of photovoltaic plants from four to seven next year.”
Vienna Airport’s solar powered drive is all part of its agenda to tackle climate change and environmental management. Other initiatives include expanding its fleet of 380 electric powered vehicles and the sustainable design and construction of future buildings on the airport site. In addition business trips taken by airport employees are offset with the purchase of CO2 credits.