Car Parks Provide Shade and Power

New shade structures at Alice Springs Airport will protect travellers’ vehicles from the weather while harnessing the sun’s rays to power the airport.

An innovative $1.9 million project will see power generated from 2004 photovoltaic panels on top of 198 shaded long-term parking spots, says the airport’s General Manager Dave Batic.

This third stage of the airport’s solar project will increase generating capacity to more than 800 kW, making the airport almost self-sufficient in its power needs, he said.

The first solar arrays were built on 28 solar tracking arrays near the airport in 2010 as part of the Alice Springs Solar City project.

Another 996 photovoltaic panels were installed last year as part of stage two on structures creating shade in the airport’s long-term carpark, winning Alice Springs the 2014 Australian Airport of the Year award for its pioneering solar project.

The latest stage, launched today, will increase generating capacity to about 85% of the airport’s power, or the equivalent of 90 houses, and will offset 1270s tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

“This pioneering project matches Alice Springs’ 350 days of sunshine a year and the airport’s abundant land to pioneer a project that will reduce our power bills and our carbon footprint,” Mr Batic said.

Chief Executive Officer of Northern Territory Airports Ian Kew said solar projects were also planned for Tennant Creek and Darwin airports.

“We would like to think we have led the way for corporate solar projects in the Territory but also for airports around the world,” Mr Kew said. The last two stages of the Alice Springs solar project were delivered with the support of BenQ, a Taiwanese company that specialises in mono-crystalline modules selected for their performance in the heat as well as their black appearance, which reduces glare.

Other key partners were Alice Springs based project manager CAT Projects and Sitzler Brothers.

 

Media contacts

David Batic, General Manager Alice Springs Airport on 08 8951 1211
Jane Munday, Michels Warren Munday on 0427 880 083