Belfast International Airport was celebrating with Lightsource after the renewable energy company won a prestigious award for Ireland’s first commercial solar farm.
The £5 million Crookedstone solar farm, which was developed in partnership with the airport, took the Energy and Environment Innovation Prize at the Sustainable Ireland Awards recently.
The 4.83MW farm was fully funded by Lightsource and was connected directly by private wire into Belfast International Airport.
The solar farm is about a third of a mile from the airport Terminal which now gets more than a third of its power from solar energy.
Belfast International Airport Engineering Technical Supervisor, Colin Sloan, said that in the first six months of operation, the total amount of electricity produced by the plant was 2.79 million Kilowatt hours (kWh). The airport used 1.88 million Kilowatt hours with the balance of almost 910,000 kWh ‘exported’ to the Northern Ireland electricity grid.
Colin said: “The airport used 67% of the total output of the plant and we are delighted with its operation. The project is proving it’s worth. We have a sustainable renewable energy supply at our doorstep which has provided approximately 34% of all our power needs in the first six months, and that augurs well for the future.”
Belfast International Airport Operations Director, Alan Whiteside, said solar was a tangible demonstration of the airport’s commitment to using ‘green’ energy.
Alan added: “Lightsource has delivered a first for any airport in the UK or Ireland and we are very proud of that achievement. The solar farm is an ideal way for us to get our electricity and it also delivers a cost-effective alternative to buying electricity the conventional way.
“The award won by Lightsource is richly deserved, and we have congratulated all those involved in what was an exciting ground-breaking project.”
Photo Caption: Belfast International Airport Engineering Technical Supervisor, Colin Sloan, and Operations Direct, Alan Whiteside, with the award that was won by Lightsource.