Photo: Melbourne Airport

MIAMI – Melbourne Airport (MEL) has unveiled its plans to open a solar farm next January. The construction will be complete by September 2020.

The project will be Australia’s largest behind-the-meter solar installation. Additionally, it is part of an investment to reduce the airport’s carbon footprint, said MEL authorities.

In line with this goal, the solar farm would produce enough renewable energy to power the MEL’s four passenger terminals.

The green solution will produce 20% of MEL common use annual consumption. Photo: Melbourne Airport.

Accurate Time to Implement the Project

The solar farm will be helpful in various matters, said MEL Chief of Landside Access, Utilities and Facilities Group, Lorie Argus.

In terms of electricity demand, airport consumption will certainly grow. Renewable energy would deliver MEL significant energy cost savings per year.

While the pandemic lingers, the project would be a timely benefit for a COVID-19 recovery, added Argus.

Regarding the construction, Beon Energy Solutions will complete it by the end of September. Then, in January 2021, the solar farm will open its doors to the public.

In 2018, MEL presented its Master Plan with the goal of ensuring compliance with environmental legislation and standards. Photo: Melbourne Airport.

Unique Project at MEL

According to Beon Energy Solutions General Manager, Glen Thomson, the project will provide MEL with an innovative feature in its unique infrastructure.

Besides new look, the airfield also set a number of carbon management goals to reduce its carbon footprint.

Thomson has worked in similar projects with MEL. He is familiar renewable energy projects; the solar farm would power four passenger terminals at MEL.

How it would look the solar farm at MEL. Photo: Melbourne Airport.

Green Commitment

Since 2018, MEL has worked alongside Point Advisory in the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA). The scheme is the global standard for carbon management in the airport industry.

Two years ago, the airport reached Level 1 accreditation. It has been its goal to achieve Level 2 ever since.

According to Point Advisory, these are the subsequent ACA requirements:

  1. Develop a carbon emissions reduction target. 
  2. Develop a carbon management plan to achieve the target.  
  3. Demonstrate Scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions versus a two-year rolling average.

With the solar farm solution, MEL will be closer to reaching the next level of accreditation. For now, it will generate 12 GW hours per year or 20% of its common-use annual consumption.