Solar panels will provide 20% of BHX’s electricity by May 2024

A 6.8-megawatt (MW) configuration of solar panels will provide at least 20% of Birmingham Airport (BHX)’s on-site electrical power, it was revealed today.  

Between September 2023 and May 2024, the airport plans to install 12,804 photovoltaic panels on a 1.5km-long, six metre-high, noise-blocking embankment, known as the ‘Alpha Bund,’ which flanks the northeastern edge of the runway, beside the West Coast main line railway.  

Once operational the new solar array will:  

  • Move BHX closer to its goal of becoming a net zero carbon airport by 2033. 
  • Reduce BHX’s reliance on the power grid.
  • Reduce its exposure to market price volatility.

To keep its neighbours informed about the upcoming work, representatives from BHX dropped postcards yesterday with details about the project through the letterboxes of properties along Elmdon Lane and its adjoining roads.   

Simon Richards, chief finance and sustainability officer at BHX, said: “Installing our own green energy sources on our airfield is one of many things we are doing to reduce our carbon footprint and become a net zero operation by 2033.  

“In the next decade we will see many transformational steps forward in the aviation sector, including the game-changing prospect of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission passenger flights. With the impacts of climate change all too real, steps like this represent us doing our bit to help protect our planet’s future for generations to come.”  

Work is intended to begin in mid-September and be completed in May 2024. Working hours will be 0800 to 1800 Monday to Friday. Any noisy work will not take place until after 0900 to minimise impacts on the airport’s neighbours.  

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has confirmed the work constitutes permitted development and so does not require planning permission.  

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