Further phases are planned. Credit: NIA

Newcastle Airport solar farm up and running

Minister for energy efficiency and green finance Lord Callanan has officially opened the project, which was 50% funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Located on airport-owned land to the south-eastern end of the runway, the first phase of the scheme is able to provide all of the airport’s electricity requirements on a sunny day.

Further phases, currently being planned, will provide battery storage facilities to allow the solar farm to continue to provide renewable energy to the airport during cloudy days and throughout the night.

The scheme includes several areas of tree planting to screen the view of the solar farm from the surrounding roads and public rights of way. The airport has also planted 8,300 trees on land around the solar farm as part of the North East Community Forest project.

Measures are also in place across the site to protect wildlife and to deliver ecological enhancements. with a wildflower meadow now planted beneath the panels. The airport is also looking to replace on-site vehicles with electric versions.

Lord Callanan said: “It’s great to see Newcastle International Airport launch its solar farm, helping to cut emissions and save on bills, while showing others how solar could power their business too.

“Solar is a key part of our plans to power up Britain, helping us to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure homegrown energy.”

NIA is working with infrastructure management firm InfraBridge on the scheme.

Cllr Tracy Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council and lead for the LA7 local authority leadership group, said: “Authorities acros the North East have declared climate emergencies and have set themselves challenging targets in reducing emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. Together, we can work to bring about positive change.”

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