Longreach Airport says the installation of solar panels will supply almost enough energy to cover its daytime power requirements and help cut greenhouse gas emissions
Taking advantage of the abundance of Central West Queensland sunlight and 30-plus degree temperatures, the airport says the 396 solar panels would lower its power bill between $30,000-$40,000 and “more than satisfies the current peak load requirement of 68 kilowatts”.
There will also be 184.9 tonnes less CO2 emissions produced each year.
“Our current annual energy costs from the coal generated grid is between $40,000 to $50,000 but the installation cost of our solar system is into six figures so even with the considerable financial saving it will take a number of years to recoup the cost,” Longreach Airport chief operating officer Kevin Gill said in a statement.
“But to us the real winner is the environment as we are focused on sustainability. At Longreach our new solar installation will provide 95 per cent of our daytime energy requirements and largely replace our use of fossil generated energy.”
Longreach is one of several Australian airports that have introduced solar panels in recent times, with Adelaide Airport’s 4,500-solar panel system on the roof of the short-term car park expected to be completed by April.
Meanwhile, Mount Isa and Townsville Airports, which like Longreach are operated by Queensland Airports Ltd, are also planning to build solar panels.
“At Mount Isa we expect to start on a new solar covered car park in a couple of months, while we are seriously considering solar at Townsville as part of a major redevelopment,” Gill said.