South Africa has launched the continent’s first solar-powered airport.
George Airport located in the South African town of the same name, is Africa’s first eco-friendly airport powered by the sun. All services at the airport from the control tower and escalators to restaurants and ATMs are supplied by a small solar power station nearby.
The power station makes use of 2,000 solar panels that generate around 750 kilowatts. The produced energy easily surpasses the airport’s electricity demand of 400 kilowatts. Apart from the obvious environmental value of the project, it benefits the airport financially and has ruled out the previously-frequent power failures.
The managers are also planning to take their project to a second phase which includes installing backup batteries that can store the solar energy for night. George Airport also plans on increasing the capacity of the power station by 250 kilowatts. Many other South African airports such as Kimberly and Upington plan to follow George Airport’s green line in the near future.