Solar Farm saves Belfast Airport £100,000 in first ten months

Belfast International Airport and Lightsource Renewable Energy are flying high as they reap the benefits of the airport’s switch to renewable power.

The airport has announced savings of over £100,000 for the first ten months of operation of their dedicated solar plant at Crookedstone Road.

Located a third of a mile from the airport’s terminal building, Crookedstone is the largest solar energy connection to an airport in the UK and Ireland and generates over one quarter of the airport’s annual electricity needs. At certain peak generation times, the airport has run on solar electricity alone for almost nine hours.

Belfast International Airport Operations Director, Alan Whiteside, said: “The solar farm project has exceeded all expectations. From switch-on in March to the end of the year, the ‘ballpark’ savings were over £100,000. The project has won critical acclaim, and a few prestigious awards, namely the Sustainable Ireland award won by Lightsource and the Airport Operators Association’s Best Environmental Initiative award. The project is consistently delivering a reliable ‘green’ and cost-saving energy supply for the airport. No other airport in either the rest of the UK or Ireland has a similar energy source and we’re delighted with its operation.”

Crookedstone Solar Farm cost in the region of £5m to build, with significant local input in the construction of the project. The project was delivered with no disruption to operations at the airport. The entire project was funded, installed and operated by Lightsource, with Belfast International Airport buying the clean electricity produced by the solar farm through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource, said: “We are really thrilled that Belfast International Airport are being rewarded for the vision that they showed in switching to solar energy. We worked hand in hand with the team at Belfast to deliver a project which would meet their needs. Not only has this project significantly reduced their emissions, it has significantly improved their bottom line. That’s the benefit that a Lightsource Private Wire agreement can deliver for a business.”

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