Solar farm powers Belfast International Airport

A ground-mounted solar power station has been connected to Belfast International Airport.

The £5 million project is being funded, installed and operated by Lightsource Renewable Energy and the airport is buying the clean electricity through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Located at Crookedstone Road in Antrim, it has a total capacity of 4.83MW and is directly linked into the private network of the airport, providing 27% of its annual power demand.

It is expected to help save 2,100 tonnes of carbon emissions every year – equivalent to taking 469 cars off the road.

The green energy firm claims a private-wire PPA can help businesses reduce exposure to the volatility in the energy market.

It is believed to be the first large-scale solar project that has been connected in Northern Ireland.

Alan Whiteside, Operations Director at Belfast International Airport said: “Not only does it give us the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint but it also means reduced energy costs while improving the integrity of our supply.”

Lightsource has also funded Europe’s largest floating solar array in the UK, which provides power to Thames Water.