Edinburgh airport to build 11-acre solar farm

An 11-acre solar farm is to be built at Edinburgh airport as part of a new sustainability push.

The facility will provide a quarter of the airport’s energy needs and construction is due to begin later this year.

It is expected to be operational next summer and has been supported by £2 million in Scottish government funding.

The project is one element of a new sustainability strategy, Greater Good, which sets out how the airport will work towards being more sustainable now and in the future.

More: Aviation’s Travel Day of Action takes off

The strategy has a number of targets within it, such as achieving carbon neutrality for direct emissions by 2024.

The initiative focuses on four key elements to achieve a sustainable future for the airport:

  • Zero Carbon – working in partnership to improve our approach to climate change
  • Enhancing Scotland – creating an airport to showcase the best of Scotland whilst delivering the best passenger experience possible
  • Scotland’s Best Business – as a hub and facilitator industry, we will work with our people, passengers and partners to create a business with integrity
  • Trusted Neighbour – working with our neighbouring communities we will share the benefits of sustainable growth with them and mitigate any negative impacts

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “Our sustainability strategy is about more than just carbon; it’s about making our business, Scotland’s gateway to the world, sustainable and a social and economic asset that serves future generations.

“To do that, we have to carefully consider our impact on the environment and act accordingly. Our operations are already carbon neutral and while we are proud of that, we know there is more to do for the greater good of Scotland.

“For an island economy, travel is an important reality and we need to have a sensible conversation about how to balance the desire and need to travel – whether to see family or do business – in the wake of the pandemic and making our industry cleaner and greener. It’s a challenge for all sectors but particularly for ours.

“Aviation is a force for good in Scotland. It’s a significant employer and it directly supports tourism, our universities, business and culture, making a major contribution to the economy.

“A sustainable future is what we all want and in the year that COP26 comes to Scotland we all have a duty to set out our plans to tackle emissions. We’re excited to get started on that path with the ambitious actions and targets set out in Greater Good.”

He added: “We are excited to be the UK’s first airport to construct a solar farm on an airfield. Some may doubt the power of sun in Scotland, but our solar farm will deliver around 26% of our energy needs and allow us to deliver energy back into the grid when we produce more than we need.

Scottish transport minister Graeme Dey said: “I’m delighted to learn of the heartening efforts of Edinburgh airport to reduce their emissions.

“The solar farm, in particular, illustrates how government and the aviation industry can work together to help achieve Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets.

“Together, we can look to create a future in which we enjoy the social and economic benefits of air travel without having an impact on the environment.”

More: Aviation’s Travel Day of Action takes off

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