Farnborough Airport, one of the UK’s largest business aviation airports, will install rooftop solar panels across its site as it continues its work to reach net zero emissions by 2030. 

Panels will be installed on the airport’s curved hangar roofs, terminal buildings, control tower, ground support facility building and on the roof of its Aviator Hampshire hotel, as well as allowing the airport’s electric vehicle fleet to be charged using self-generated electricity.

CEO Simon Geere said: “In our efforts to be a sustainability showcase for airports around the world, we are always looking for new ways to supply and create sustainable energy sources; the new solar installation will enable us to reduce our controllable emissions as set out in our Net Zero Roadmap.”

Installations will begin this year and be carried out by solar generation company Solivus, who provide lightweight solar solutions more suited for buildings like aircraft hangars that are unable to hold the weight of conventional solar panels.

As one of the largest solar installations in South East England, the project continues Farnborough’s work to achieve its net zero goals ahead of the industry standard, including the construction of its sustainability-focused Domus III hangar and its move to offer sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to all customers in 2021. 

Sam Folley, partner at Trowers & Hamlins who has previously advocated for airports to use solar, said that Farnborough’s project showed the “increasing interest” from airports in ensuring their own operations align with net zero goals through initiatives such as onsite renewables and EV infrastructure.

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Folley told Airport Technology: “It is fantastic to see Farnborough Airport leading the way by utilising so much of their roof space across multiple buildings and even their hotel, maximised by using lightweight panels.

“Several UK airports have completed significant ground-mounted solar installations and a few, such as Bristol and Norwich, have roof-mounted, but none so far to this extent.

“This is a great example of an airport making the best use of their real estate to enhance their environmental performance, particularly when coupled with their use of the electricity generated for EV charging. We hope other airports will be quick to follow.”