Construction is underway on a ground-breaking project, which will see Brisbane Airport have the largest rooftop solar panel installation at an Australian airport and the largest commercial rooftop solar system in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 6MW system, consisting of about 22,000 panels spanning an area of 36,000 square metres or more than twice the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), is being installed across six sites at Brisbane Airport (BAC).
The project is being delivered by Epho Commercial Solar Energy, an Australian commercial solar company specialising in serving Australian businesses with solar energy solutions. Epho developed this project, in collaboration with Shakra Energy.
Epho Commercial Solar Energy and Brisbane Airport Corporation have worked intensively during the design period to obtain all approvals necessary to be able to build this Australian first at one of the country’s busiest international and domestic airports.
More than 200 kilometres of electrical cable is now being used for the installation, equivalent to driving from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and back.
“This is a busy 24/7 airport and only getting busier. We’re working above 23 million passengers over a year and under more than 200,000 flights coming and going. Quality, minimal disturbance and workplace health and safety are paramount,” said Dr Oliver Hartley, Epho’s Managing Director.
“Epho’s work with a large number of stakeholders and authorities in commissioning the project is now complete and we’re in the construction phase, which is expected to take until the final quarter of 2018.”
“There are numerous challenges on a big project like this. While complex, Epho Commercial Solar Energy has excellent experience working with large corporate clients on large commercial and industrial solar projects enabling us to accelerate the design and approval stage.”
“Attention to detail, accurate planning, and design of the highest standard are critical. The first two of the six installations are now being laid out and wired up exactly as planned,” Dr Hartley said.
Managing Director of Shakra Energy, Mr Sam Khalil, said the project had been years in the making. “It gives me great satisfaction that my tenacity as a developer has paid off,” Mr Khalil said.
Facts, stats and additional information
Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal alone will support 1.8 MW with about 6,500 panels covering more than 11,000 square metres.
Electricity is one of the most significant expenses to running Brisbane Airport with dozens of large buildings requiring cooling, lighting and heating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Since 2012 BAC has had an extensive energy reduction program in place resulting in the completion of 40 projects which collectively save more than 8 GWh per year.
Once fully operational, the new solar system will account for 18 percent of BAC’s direct electricity consumption, or six percent of total consumption, further complementing the savings being made through air conditioning control optimisation, lighting control upgrades and LED technology within BAC buildings, car parks and street lighting.
The solar energy generated per year at BAC is equivalent to powering over 1,700 Australian homes for a year, with carbon offset equal to planting over 50,000 trees or taking 1,500 cars off the road each year.
Matt Scaddan, email@example.com, 0452 286 690