Brisbane Airport goes solar

Brisbane Airport Corporation general manager assets Krishan Tangri on the airport rooftop. Image: BAC.

BY ELIZABETH FABRI

BRISBANE airport will soon be home to a 6 megawatt (MW) solar PV project that will be the largest commercial roof top solar system in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than twice the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the $11 million project will be installed across six sites at the airport.

The International Terminal alone will support a 1.98MW array with 7133 panels covering more than 11,675sqm – the largest single roof top solar panel installation at an Australian airport.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) general manager assets Krishan Tangri said with electricity as one of its largest expenses, the project would slash power costs and account for 18 per cent of BAC’s direct electricity consumption, or 6 per cent of its total consumption.

“We are acutely aware of the increasing energy needs of running a major airport and since 2012 we’ve had an extensive energy reduction program in place resulting in the completion of 40 projects which collectively save more than 8 GWh per year,” Mr Tangri said.

“We are in the enviable position of having thousands of square metre of un-impeded roof space ideal for solar harvesting and, with systems becoming more efficient and more affordable to install, it makes financial sense to invest in this readily available supply of renewable energy to save costs and decrease our carbon footprint.”

Epho, in partnership with Shakra Energy, began development of the project in July, and will be working towards a completion date in August next year.

Epho managing director Oliver Hartley said the project would be very complex, given the 24-hour ‘live environment’ of the airport.

“To win this project, Epho had to demonstrate superiority in project management, stakeholder management, engineering, operations and work health and safety,” Mr Hartley said.

“The introduction of such a significant solar system is a prime example of how BAC is adopting world-leading technologies in harmony with its sustainability focus.”

 

The details

6MW of PV panels across six sites.

22,000 panels spanning 36,000sqm

-More than 200km of cabling used

-$11 million to build

40 jobs during construction

Completion expected August 2018