New Solar Farm at London's Southend Airport
- Published: Wednesday, 20 January 2016 07:09
Stobart Developments, part of the Stobart Group, built the 2.5 megawatt solar photovoltaic array on 3.2 hectares of unused grassland north of the airport site at a cost of £2million.
The new Solar Farm at Southend Airport is now generating about a fifth of the electricity for the airport. A hundred workers began building the solar farm, which consists of more than 9,500 solar panels in 2,600 piles across 37 rows, in November and it was registered with OfGEM on December 31.
Stobart Aviation chief executive Glyn Jones said: “Our new solar farm is actually the largest at a UK airport and supports one of our key objectives, which is reducing our carbon footprint and the electricity we require from the national grid network.
“We are delighted as London’s newest airport to have opportunities to introduce the latest ‘green’ initiatives as part of our development.”
The layout of the panels has been specially designed to prevent reflective glare affecting approaching aircraft and the air traffic control tower. In 2014, Britain’s largest airport solar installation to date was completed at the airport as part of the £10m terminal expansion, with 496 solar panels now supplying the terminal's shops, cafes and restaurants – estimated to avoid 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years.
More than £140million has been invested in the airport since it was taken over by the Stobart Group in 2008.
New facilities include the train station next to the terminal, an Air Traffic Control tower, radar, terminal building, runway extension and four-star Holiday Inn.
The airport has been named the ‘Best Airport in Britain’ by Which? Magazine three years running since 2013.