George Airport becomes the first solar-powered African airfield

George Airport has become Africa’s first solar powered airfield, drawing over 41% of its energy demand from a newly constructed solar-power station.

George Airport has become the very first solar powered airfield on the continent thanks to a new solar plant on its grounds, from which it will draw 41% of its total energy requirements.
The airfield, sitting neatly in-between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, is able to achieve this feat through making use of a newly constructed solar power plant which officially launched last week.
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The power plant, when it reaches full production, will be able to supply 750Kw of power, and costed just over $1 million USD to construct.
The airfield forms the front-runner of a government initiative to introduce a mix of energy sources to its airports.
In an official statement, Skhumbuzo Macozoma, chairman of the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) board said that “As an airports management company running nine airports nationally, part of our strategic objective is to minimize our environmental impact… Harnessing solar power is a viable cleaner energy source which contributes towards diversifying the energy mix. This plant will ensure that the airport is self-sustaining in terms of its power needs, and will eventually extend to the broader community within the George municipality.”
George Airport, which serves over 600,000 passengers a year, is a national distribution point for flowers, fish, oysters, herbs, and ferns among other items.
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The project is part of a series of energy investments intended to alleviate irregular electricity supply in South Africa.
What are your thoughts on George Airport becoming Africa’s first solar-powered airfield? Could this set an important precedent for other airports around the country? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA