GLASGOW Airport has announced plans for what will be the largest solar farm at a Scottish airport as part its ongoing commitment to decarbonising its infrastructure and achieving net zero by the mid-2030s.

The 30-acre onsite, ground mounted solar farm will give Glasgow Airport the capability to generate enough power for the airport campus and neighbouring businesses. This is equivalent to powering almost 20% of homes in the city (approximately 52,000 households) .

The c.15MW solar farm is already in the early stages of development subject to planning and is expected to be operational by summer 2023 if approved. The plant is the latest in a number of initiatives the airport and its parent group, AGS Airports, is undertaking to support its journey to net zero.

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AGS, which also owns Aberdeen and Southampton airports, is in the final phase of a procurement process for Internet of Things (IoT) services to reduce its overall energy consumption by using digital technology, machine learning and artificial intelligence. AGS recently announced it had formed the Scottish wind energy consortium with Katrick Technologies and the University of Strathclyde to enable a faster transition to clean power by exploiting low-level wind energy.

The airport group is working with net zero consultancy firm Ikigai which advises large infrastructure projects on delivering energy transition while adding value by co-developing energy solutions with the asset owners. All three AGS airports achieved carbon neutrality status in 2020 and as part of its sustainability strategy which it launched in June 2021, AGS set out a roadmap for its transition to net zero by the mid-2030s.

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, said: “All of our electricity is already purchased from 100% renewable sources and has been since 2018, however, the creation of the solar farm at Glasgow Airport will allow us to become self-sustaining by generating enough clean energy for both the airport and our neighbours.

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“As one of the UK’s leading regional airport groups that serves the Highlands and Islands there’s a real opportunity for AGS to become a testbed for hydrogen and electric flight and the solar farm gives us the ability to future proof for an increase in electricity demand.

“There will be additional demand due to the electrification of operational vehicles, taxis, rental cars and we will also launch a green car scheme to support our staff to switch to electric vehicles. All of this will require electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“We need to anticipate these changes and the steps we are taking today will ensure we can meet both the demands of the future and our net zero targets.”