A South African airport, George Airport, has become the first “green” airport on the continent, and the second in the world to run on solar power. It is powered by a solar-generator consisting of 2,000 solar panels that produce 750kw, which allows it to gain access to its control towers escalators, its baggage carousels and its ATMs, just as a normal generator would run.
The airport runs on Solar in the day but the system switches to the national power grid at night, or on rainy days. George airport has reduced its carbon emissions by 1299 tonnes, since it started testing the system last year.
The solar generator would normally run on 400kw, which allows the extra 350kw power over 250 local homes. It has become the second infrastructure in the world, after Cochin international Airport in Kerala, India to operate completely on solar energy.
Other South African airports, Kimberly and Upington, are also in the process of adopting solar system after George’s effective trial. Airports Company South Africa has announced that they hope to achieve “zero emission” by year 2030. The varying weather and the moderately small number of passengers make George the perfect test subject according to the project organizers.