Melbourne Airport in Australia has announced that it is constructing a new solar farm that can provide power to its four passenger terminals when it opens in January next year.

The project is said to be the largest of its kind in the country.

The airport will be able to generate around 17GWh of electricity each year, which is equivalent to around 15% of its annual electricity consumption.

Melbourne Airport Landside Access, Utilities and Facilities Group chief Lorie Argus said that this project will aid in reducing the carbon footprint of the airport.

Argus said: “With the airport’s electricity demand expected to grow, the construction of our solar farm makes sense for several reasons.

“The project is expected to deliver significant annualised energy cost savings, a timely benefit with the impacts of Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the aviation industry.

“We are committed to growing the airport in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way. This renewable energy project is another chapter in that story.”

Beon Energy Solutions general manager Glen Thomson said: “The airport location brings with it some unique complexities and challenges, which utilises our collective strengths.

“We congratulate Melbourne Airport on their investment and focus on innovative solutions to their growing energy needs and we look forward to continuing the relationship with similar projects across the airport precinct.”

The construction is scheduled to be finished by the end of next month. Operations will begin next year.

In February, Melbourne Airport planned to start the construction of a road linking Tullamarine Freeway and Terminal 4’s car park.

Last November, Melbourne Airport made the decision to switch the alignment of its third runway from east-west to north-south.