Istanbul Airport will become first airport powered by solar energy


(Photo: Istanbul Airport)

Istanbul Airport, among the busiest transportation hubs globally, is set to become the world's first airport to meet its entire electricity demand through solar energy. This will be achieved via a solar plant to be constructed in Eskisehir, central Turkey.

IGA Airport Operations has started the construction of the Eskisehir solar power plant project, covering around 3 million square meters. The project will install 439,000 solar panels to generate 199.32 MW of electricity.

The plant is expected to produce 340 million kWh of energy per year with an investment of €212 million. It is scheduled to be operational by year’s end. Selahattin Bilgen, acting CEO of IGA Istanbul Airport, said that they developed the project as part of their commitment to 2050 Net Zero. 

"We want to mitigate the consequences of global warming and climate change with greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 105,996 tons of carbon dioxide that we will prevent with the building of this plant.” he said.

He also added, "While it is envisaged that the Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions of IGA Istanbul Airport determined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol will be reduced 45% by 2030 and 73% by 2040, we plan to strengthen our environmental sustainability efforts and focus on strategies such as decarbonization technologies, infrastructure support for the supply of sustainable fuels, energy efficiency and renewable energy in line with the targets to reduce Scope 3 emissions."

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Kulttuurinavigaattori)

According to Bilgen, they have taken concrete steps such as reducing emissions from waste by 50% and gradually converting vehicle fleets to electric vehicles, “With the help of these steps, our total energy consumption fell 10.7% last year.”

The company said that they sourced 30% of their water consumption from reclaimed water, resulting in a 5% reduction in their water footprint compared to the previous year. Additionally, they recycled 35% of their waste and ensured that it was reused as raw material.

Istanbul Airport, which first phase officially opened in Oct. 2018, is one of the largest airports in the world, with around 100 million annual passenger capacity. It is expected to serve 200 million passengers annually at full capacity upon the completion of all four phases with six runways by 2028.

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