Dubai Airports and Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO) have installed a solar energy system comprising 15,000 photovoltaic panels at Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Etihad ESCO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

The solar project has a capacity of 5MWp and can generate more than 7.48 million kilowatt-hours of energy every year for Dubai Airports. This is expected to result in savings worth AED3.3m.

With the new solar energy system in place, the existing Terminal 2 load at Dubai Airport will be reduced by roughly 29%.

The system will also cut CO₂ emissions by 3,243mt annually.

Dubai Airports Infrastructure and Business Technology executive vice-president Michael Ibbitson said: “Dubai Airports has undertaken a variety of green initiatives over the past several years to limit our carbon footprint and support Dubai’s goal for a 30% reduction in the city’s energy consumption by 2030.

“In addition to enabling us to limit our carbon footprint while cutting costs, these initiatives also support our long-term vision for a carbon-neutral future in line with the aviation industry’s target.”

The latest project is part of DEWA’s first smart initiative known as Shams Dubai that aims to promote the use of clean renewable energy sources.

As part of this programme, solar panels will be installed on rooftops to generate electricity from solar power and connect it to DEWA’s grid for the transfer of surplus generation.

Etihad ESCO will be responsible for providing maintenance services for Dubai Airports for seven years from completion.

Etihad ESCO CEO Ali Al Jassim said: “Our partnership with Dubai Airports for the installation of photovoltaic solar panels gives us an opportunity to play a role in Dubai Airports’ vision for energy efficiency and development.

“Furthermore, this also marks an extension of an existing partnership between Dubai Airports and Etihad ESCO, which goes back to October 2017 when we signed an agreement for the retrofitting of DXB’s terminals 1, 2 and 3 to enhance energy efficiency and cut down water and electricity consumption by 20%.”