Africa gets its first solar-powered airport

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 2:12 PM

Located halfway between Cape Town and Harbour Elizabeth, George Airport will meet forty-one percent of its energy demand from a brand new two hundred square meter solar power plant built on its grounds.

Africa gets its first solar-powered airport

S Africa has ramped up its green credentials by unveiling the continent'south first solar-powered airport.

Located halfway between Cape Town and Harbour Elizabeth, George Airport will meet forty-one percent of its energy demand from a brand new two hundred square meter solar power plant built on its grounds.

The facility, which was officially launched latest week, has 3.000 photovoltaic modules, and will gradually expand capacity to deliver 750Kw power when it reaches full production.

It cost just over a million dollars to build, and is portion of S Africa'south commitment to introduce a mix of energy sources to all its airports.

"As an airports management company running nine airports nationally, portion of our strategic objective is to minimize our environmental impact," Skhumbuzo Macozoma, chairman of the Airports Company S Africa Board said in a statement.

"Harnessing solar power is a viable cleaner energy source which contributes towards diversifying the energy mix. This plant will ensure that the airport is self-sustaining in terms of its power needs, and will eventually prolong to the broader community within the George municipality," he added.

The airport serves the Western Cape town of George which lies in the heart of the scenic Garden Route, well-known for its lush vegetation and lagoons which are dotted along the landscape.

It handles over 600.000 passengers a year, many of them tourists, but it'south also a national distribution hub for cargo such as flowers, fish, oysters, herbs and ferns.

The spotless energy initiative follows in the footsteps of India'south Cochin International airport -- the world'south first entirely solar powered airport, and Galapagos Ecological Airport, built in two thousand-twelfth to running solely on Sunday and wind power.

The George Airport project is the latest in the string of alternative energy investments designed to assistance relieve the burden of irregular electricity supply, which has long plagued parts of Africa.

SHOULD WATCH

Around six hundred thirty-five million people, or fifty-seven percent of the population, are estimated to live without power on the continent, with that no climbing to sixty-eight percent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Latest year, a UK start-up collaborated with Shell to construct a solar-powered soccer pitch in the Nigerian city of Lagos, but governments are also increasingly harnessing the Sun'south energy for major infrastructure projects.

Latest month, Morocco switched on what'll be the world'south largest concentrated solar plant when it'south completed. It's predicted to power one million homes by two thousand eighteen. In Rwanda, a $23.7 million solar plant has increased the country'south generation capacity by six percent and lighting up 15.000 homes.

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