Newcastle Airport Marks Major Milestone with New Site Opening

Newcastle International Airport’s Solar Farm has been officially opened by the Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan. The project, which was 50 per cent funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and 50 per cent funded by the Airport, marks a “major milestone” in its “ambitious” strategy to become Net Zero Carbon by the year 2035.

Located on Airport owned land to the south eastern end of the runway, on a sunny day between mid-morning and late afternoon phase 1 of the scheme is able to supply all of the Airport’s electricity requirements.

Further phases, which are currently being planned, will provide battery storage facilities to allow the solar farm to continue to provide renewable energy to the Airport during cloudy days and throughout the night.

The scheme includes several areas of tree planting to screen the view of the solar farm from the surrounding roads and public rights of way. The Airport has also planted over 8,300 trees on land around the solar farm as part of the North East Community Forest project.

Measures are also in place across the site to protect wildlife and to deliver ecological enhancements, known as Biodiversity Net Gain, with a wildflower meadow now planted beneath the panels.

Nick Jones, chief executive of Newcastle Airport, commented: “I am delighted to see the official opening of the site today and to welcome Lord Callanan to the Airport, to mark this major milestone in the Airport’s roadmap to becoming Net Zero Carbon by the year 2035. We are committed to being a responsible organisation and alongside the significant investment in the new Solar Farm, the Airport is investing in many other initiatives to help us reach our Net Zero target. One of these initiatives is the replacement of all vehicles on site with electric versions, which we can now charge with our own renewable energy source.”

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, added: “It’s great to see Newcastle International Airport launch its solar farm, helping to cut emissions and save on bills, while showing others how solar could power their business too.

“Solar is a key part of our plans to power up Britain, helping us to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more secure homegrown energy. I want to see more fantastic projects, just like this one in my hometown, being developed across the country as we drive Britain towards our goal of net zero by 2050.”

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