Southend Airport has had the largest UK airport solar panel installation as part of its terminal extension.
The 496 solar panels, will supply the terminal's expanded range of shops, cafes and restaurants with clean solar electricity for decades to come, via the airport's private electricity network.
Photon Energy installed the system on the terminal's curved tunnel-shaped roofs, with panels supplied by Conergy, on behalf of Integral plc, which delivered the mechanical and electrical aspects of the terminal expansion.
The solar panels are expected to help the terminal achieve a BREEAM very good environmental assessment rating, and save 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 20 years.
David Lister, London Southend Airport operations director, says: "We are delighted to add the provision of clean solar electricity to a range of 'green' initiatives we've introduced as the terminal has developed.
“Environmentally-friendly initiatives are very important to us and the whole building has been designed to incorporate a number of them, including sustainable drainage, specialist coating to improve insulation, extensive glazing to enhance natural lighting and slow start escalators."
The project is part of a £10 million terminal expansion, and construction for the development was completed by Kier Construction.
Jonathan Bates, managing director, Photon Energy, explains passengers will get a bird’s eye view of the solar panel as they take-off and land.
“Airport terminals are great places for solar as they have a lot of roof space and large daytime electricity consumption,” Bates adds.