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Africa's first solar- powered airport

South Africa

George airport in South Africa may look like another airport in the world. But what sets it apart, is the use of solar to power its facilities.

Located midway between Capetown and Port Elizabeth, the airport operates from its 2000 solar panels that produce up to 750 Kw a day, surpassing the 450 Kw needed to run the hub.

“Gone are the days when power failures used to a be a big thing for the airport. We no longer have those, said Brenda Voster, Airport Manager.

The solar facility cost about $1.2 million to build and so far, the hub has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 1,229 tonnes, the equivalent of 103,934 litres of fuel.

Also, there are plans to increase the capacity of the power station by an extra 250 Kw.

“We’re quite excited about us embarking on phase two. Phase two I should say in all probability, will, have the back-up battery facilities where we can then store any solar that we generate through the day that we are not using,” Brenda added.

George airport which handles about 700,000 passengers annually, is the second solar powered airport in the world, after Cochin airport in southern India.


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