Athens International begins operation of the world's largest airport photovoltaic installation
Aerial shot of PV installation (photo: AIA)
Wed 12 Oct 2012 – The largest unified photovoltaic (PV) installation at any airport worldwide has been officially launched at Athens International Airport (AIA). The 8 MWp (megawatt peak) PV Park has been developed at a cost of around 20 million euros ($28m) on a 160,000 square metre area within the airport site, with the project taking six months to complete. The Park will contribute significantly to the airport company’s target of reducing the carbon footprint of its installations. It is expected to produce 11 million kWh annually, corresponding to almost 20 per cent of the company’s electricity consumption and representing nine per cent of the airport community’s overall needs. As a result, CO2 emissions will be reduced by at least 10,000 tonnes per year for a period of at least 25 years, claims AIA.
“Ten years since the beginning of operations at our airport, it gives us great pleasure to see the opening of our PV Park, marking our continuous and dynamic investment in environmental management and development, with a focus on renewable energy sources,” said AIA CEO Dr Yiannis Paraschis at the Park’s inauguration, which was attended by Greece’s Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
“Having started in 2003, we have to date achieved a significant reduction in the company’s electrical consumption of more than 25%.”
Paraschis added that AIA was exploring other alternative or renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy and co-generation in order to reduce the airport’s carbon footprint still further.
AIA first installed a pilot PV unit at the airport’s train station in July 2004, which produces 7,500 kWh annually and has provided data for the study that led to the development of the PV Park project.
“AIA invests dynamically in renewable energy sources, implements its own corporate system of environmental management, and joins European industry initiatives aiming to reduce CO2 emissions from its installations,” commented Prof Stratos Papadimitriou, AIA Chairman.