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Newcastle International Airport announces plans for a solar farm

The solar farm will be located at the eastern end of the runway and will seek to provide 100 per cent of the airport’s electricity requirements through sustainable means.

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Newcastle International Airport has announced plans to submit a planning application for a solar farm on airport land and has launched a public information process to gather feedback on the proposals.

In January 2020 the airport released an ambitious roadmap to become a net zero emissions business by 2035, ahead of the majority of airports across Europe which have plans to become net zero before 2050.

Along with procuring a brand new fleet of electric vehicles, shifting to new technologies and working with stakeholders to reduce their emissions, the ability to generate renewable energy was identified as critical to achieving the airport’s 2035 goal.

A consultation is now open for local residents and stakeholders to provide their feedback on the solar farm proposals before they are submitted to Newcastle City Council as a planning application.

If approved, the solar farm will be built in four phases between 2022 and 2035 to support the airport now and in the future. Located on airport land at the eastern end of the runway, the farm will be capable of generating up to 16MW of electricity and will seek to provide 100 per cent of the airport’s electricity requirements through sustainable means. The scheme will also feature battery units to store excess energy for use during the evening or days with less sunshine.

The airport successfully bid for funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) to support the first phase of the project.

Nick Jones, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are committed to being a good neighbour, as well as a responsible organisation and, despite a very challenging last 18 months, our plan to become a net zero emissions airport by 2035 remains a priority.

“The solar farm project is a key part of our net zero strategy, allowing us to generate our own renewable energy and contribute to the Government’s net zero objectives and the City of Newcastle’s Carbon Net Zero 2030 strategy.

“We are confident that the proposed scheme will have limited impact on the surrounding communities. We have added additional tree planting to screen the view of the solar farm from the surrounding roads and public rights of way and have been working with a specialist environmental team to ensure the ecological impact of the scheme is minimal and that biodiversity net gain will be achieved.

“We are looking forward to hearing feedback on the proposals from our local communities and stakeholders.”

Members of the public can find out more information about the project on the airport’s website and can submit their views up to Friday, 10 September 2021.

Visit www.newcastleairport.com/solar-farm for more information.

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