Alice Springs Airport will soon have one of the largest airport solar systems in Australia, with plans to install more than 1000 PV panels on the roof of a shaded long-term parking bay.
The $1.9 million project will add to the Airport’s award-winning solar energy station, and will boost its total solar capacity to 800kW and its self-generation capacity by around 40 per cent – it currently gets more than half its power needs from the existing solar energy stations on site.
Construction of the project will begin next month, marking the third stage of the Airport’s long-term strategy to boost the sustainability of the its operations.
Local company Sitzler Bros has been appointed as contractor for the project and will continue the work it started with the existing solar shade structures, constructed in 2014. The rooftop solar array is expected to be completed in late 2015.
“Our solar power projects have been hugely successful for the business,” said airport general manager Dave Batic. “We’re committed to further developing our solar energy capabilities, especially when it comes to thinking outside the square to make it happen.
“This latest phase will turn our entire long term car park into a solar energy station, and when it’s complete will offset the equivalent of 430 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The combined total of our solar power output, more than 800kw, will offset a massive 1270 tonnes of annual carbon dioxide emissions.
“ASP was the first Australian airport to see the benefits of investing in large scale PV technology that feeds back to our grid,” said Dave. “Now with a system large enough to power 280 homes for a year we believe it’s one of the biggest airport solar stations in the country as well.”
In 2014, ASP was named Major Airport of the Year by the Australian Airports Association (AAA) for its investment into solar power infrastructure. The solar energy project also won the Safe Climate Award at the Environment Centre NT’s inaugural Ochre Green awards, which recognise outstanding efforts and outcomes by Territorians for the environment.