in Aerospace

Work on Scotland's largest airport-based solar farm gets underway

Posted 30 November 2023

Work to create Scotland’s largest airport-based solar farm is now underway following the successful completion of the development phase of the project.

Image courtesy Glasgow Airport / VINCI Airports

Glasgow Airport, in partnership with leading energy transition adviser and developer Ikigai Group, has completed the development phase and the subsequent successful financial close for a 19.9MW solar plant with Zestec Renewable Energy. Approximately £18.5 million is being invested to create the solar farm.

The 40-acre ground-mounted solar farm, to be located on Glasgow Airport-owned land next to Barnsford Road, will be built in phases to accommodate the current and future demand of the airport as well as neighbouring businesses which will be able to access low-cost, green energy. Construction will take place over the coming months, with completion of the first phase expected in summer 2024.

The plant will be owned and operated by Zestec, who are owned by funds managed by Octopus Energy Generation, and on completion will produce enough energy equivalent to powering light for approximately 15% of homes in the city of Glasgow.

In addition to being a key component of the airport’s Sustainability Strategy, the project is the cornerstone of its vision to create an energy hub which will also help local industry decarbonise and reduce energy costs.

Ronald Leitch, Operations Director of Glasgow Airport, said: "The development of the solar farm marks a key milestone in our sustainability journey by giving the airport the ability to generate clean energy on-site.

“This will advance our plans to decarbonise our own operations while supporting the net-zero ambitions of our airport partners and neighbours. Importantly, it also creates the foundation to turn the airport into an energy hub and allows us to progress our plans to support zero emission flight. We are looking forward to working with Ikigai and Zestec, both of whom share our vision for a sustainable future.”

The Ikigai Group, known for its expertise in advising on and developing renewable projects for large infrastructure operators, funded and carried out the development of the project.

Helena Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of the Ikigai Group, stated: “This project is part of our Energy Innovation advisory mandate to create a low-carbon, multi-fuel, multi-modal energy hub, future proofing the airport’s infrastructure. We are currently working with the airport on additional on-site energy solutions, including the roll out of EV charging and green hydrogen production, with low-cost, private wire solar energy as the enabler."

Following a successful tender process led by Ikigai, Zestec was selected as the preferred partner to undertake the development, including construction, procurement and operation of the project.

Toby Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Zestec, commented on the acquisition: "We are excited to include this solar plant in our growing family of behind-the-meter solutions designed to help Glasgow Airport decarbonise its operations. Our collaboration with the airport and Ikigai aligns perfectly with our goals.”



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