Dubai Airports is to install a solar plant at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) to limit the facility’s carbon footprint and to feed extra power directly into the grid.
It is the first solar project to be linked directly to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) grid.
By tapping the Sun’s energy, the 100-panel solar array will redirect the source of the power used by airport gate employees.
The array, on the roof of the airport terminal, has a capacity of 30 kilowatts and generates electricity equal to about two thirds of the power used. That is enough electricity to power 24,000 homes a year.
Feeding power into the Dewa grid will allow the airport and the authority to further reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
“The solar array is just one of several projects across our airports aimed at adopting ways to limit our environmental impact while safeguarding the significant economic and social contributions the aviation sector provides Dubai,” said Majed Al Joker, senior vice president of operations DWC at Dubai Airports.
“We are pleased to implement the first smart initiative to connect solar power to buildings,” said Waleed Salman, executive vice president of strategy and business development at Dewa.
“This supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, to diversify the energy mix and increase the share of renewable energy in Dubai’s total power output to 7 per cent by 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030, and achieve our strategy of supporting sustainable energy projects in Dubai.”
Legislation last year also enabled private homes and companies to generate their own electricity through solar panels.
Dubai has pledged that by 2030, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will generate 1,000 megawatts – enough energy for half a million homes.