With Moi International Airport’s 500 kW PV system Kenya has become the first country in Africa to have a solar powered airport, according to Kenya Airports Authority. (Photo Credit: Kenya Airports Authority)
- Moi International Airport in Mombasa of Kenya has received a 500 kW ground mounted solar power plant
- It is said to be Africa's first airport powered by a solar power system
- Established as a pilot project with €6.5 million ($7.37 million) from the EU and ICAO, the solar system is expected to generate 820,000 kWh annually
- Currently, aircrafts parked at the gate use diesel generated power for their auxiliary power unit to run on-board systems and cooling before departing for their next flight. This electricity will now come from solar power.
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Kenya’s Moi International Airport in Mombasa has earned the country the distinction of having Africa’s first airport to be powered by a solar power system. The ground mounted 500 kW solar power generation facility was launched at the airport that sees 2,500 flights every year.
The PV facility, referred to as Solar at Gate, is expected to generate 820,000 kWh annually, helping avoid at least 1,300 tons of CO2 per year, reduce aviation carbon emissions and decrease expenditure on electricity, which will contribute towards efficient operations of Moi International Airport.
Currently, aircrafts parked at the gate use diesel generated power for their auxiliary power unit (APU) to run on-board systems and cooling before departing for their next flight. This electricity will now come from solar power.
“It is not only a transformative development in the aviation sector of Kenya – and of the continent – but it is also an inspiring model of how such change can best be accomplished,” said Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Funded by the European Union, this pilot project was implemented by ICAO as part of a €6.5 million ($7.37 million) initiative called Capacity Building for CO2 Mitigation from International Aviation. The initiative targets 14 states, 12 from Africa and 2 from the Caribbean region to address carbon emissions in the aviation sector.
Inspired by the potential benefits of solar energy at airports, the Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) will aim for zero-carbon emissions by 2020.
India’s Cochin International Airport is the world’s first fully solar powered airport (see Cochin Airport Wins UN Honor). It has also started consultancy services assisting interested airports take up solar. Earlier in 2018, it signed an MoU to help 3 Ghana airports install solar power plants (see Solar Power For Ghana’s Airports).