Attracted by rising cost effectiveness due to dropping costs, authority of Moi International Airport, Kenya's second international airport, has decided to install 500 KW ground-mounted solar panels and energy storage system, following the step of growing numbers of airports worldwide.
The project will be carried out by Solarcentury of the U.K., which signed a contract for it with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) the other day. It will make Moil International Airport the first airport furnished with PV power facilities in Eastern Africa.
With the engineering works expected to last 10 months, the PV power system is scheduled for grid connection in 2019, capable of generating 820,000 kWh and cutting CO2 emission by 13 million tons a year.
Jonny Andersen, managing director of Kenya Airport Authority, noted that in addition to cut on power bill and CO2 emission, the facility will augment the operating efficiency of the airport.
The project is part of the CO2 reduction program of the ICAO, which has joined hands with the EU in combating the impact of climate change actively since 2013. They have so far helped airports in 12 African countries and two Caribbean countries reduce CO2 emission, having sunk 6.5 million euros (NT$227 million) in 213 projects and subsidy programs so far.
The gradual decline in solar-panel costs has promoted more and more airports worldwide to install PV power facilities, such as decision by the Hawaii Department of Transportation in July to install 4,2600 solar panels at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, which will halve the airport's power bill, according to the department.
PV power facilities have also been installed at London Gatwick Airport and Birmingham International Airport, totaling 50 KW in capacities, as well as four U.S. airports. PV power facilities with capacity totaling 29.5 MW can fully meet the power need of Cochin International Airport in India. In order to cope with constantly rising power cost, the airport began to install rooftop and ground-mounted PV powers systems in 2013. Following their completion in 2015, the systems can even generate excess power for sale to the grid to earn extra income.
Safety factors must taken into account in the installation of PV power facilities at airports, though, such as the choice of proper positions and dark-color materials and coating for solar panels to prevent reflective plight affecting the vision of pilots.
- African airport turns to solar power as it aims to cut emissions
- Solarcentury signs contract with ICAO to install East Africa’s largest airport solar PV plant at Moi International Airport, Mombasa.
- ICAO and the European Union renew environmental partnership for a sustainable international aviation
- Airport solar project gets momentum, team visits Indian airports
(First photo is an illustrative one, source: Dane County Regional Airport via FlickrCC BY-ND 2.0/written by Daisy Chuang)