A First For Africa: Solar-Powered Airport

150226GeorgeAirport-png-620x350George Airport in South Africa’s Western Cape Province today became Africa’s first and only regional airport powered with an energy mix that includes solar, according to a prepared statement by the state-owned airport management company that operates it.
Airports Company South Africa is a state-owned company accountable to South Africa’s Minister of Transport. It manages nine airports in South Africa.
The 200-square-meter solar power plant was launched today on the grounds of George Airport. Construction took six months to complete at a cost of 16 million rand ($995,000).
The first phase will supply 41 percent of the airport’s current energy demand. The balance of energy will be drawn from the national grid with supply capacity steadily increased according to demand. The plant is designed to deliver 750 kilowatts of power to the airport once complete.
Photovoltaic technology generates electricity from solar radiation. The use of renewable energy is in line with the Airports Company South Africa’s sustainability goals, the company said. The company wants to reduce its reliance on the national power grid.

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