- Fraport has announced commissioning of an 8.5 kW demonstration solar plant for the Frankfurt Airport
- The vertical installation with bifacial modules will enable it to source maximum solar power and take minimum space
- It plans to expand the same along Runway West in the future to an output of 13 MW
Frankfurt Airport of Germany has installed a vertical solar PV installation of 20 bifacial solar power modules along Runway West as a demonstration project, with plans to later expand its capacity to 13 MW.
The idea behind the vertical installation, instead of the conventional diagonal one, is to capture sunlight from both easterly and westerly directions. While generating large volumes of electricity, such installations take minimum space. There is no accumulation of rainwater under the panels and grass also remains unaffected since there is also no permanent shading created by the panels.
Frankfurt Airport’s operator Fraport wants the project to not hamper the area’s biodiversity with these panels, a reason that let it decide in favor of vertical installation.
“The aim of our initial demonstration section is to gain experience with building and maintaining the system and the lawn around it,” said the airport’s operator Fraport’s Network Services Team’s Marcus Keimling. “The trial areas will give us the experience we need. We’re going to move on to expanding the PV system alongside the runway very soon, with the aim of completing it as soon as possible.”
Currently, the airport has an operational solar PV capacity of 1.5 MW with 13,000 sq. mtr. PV system installed on the roof of a cargo warehouse in CargoCity South. In the long run, Fraport plans to install more panels on new buildings as parking lots at its new Terminal 3.
In December 2021, it signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with energy supplier EnBW for output from 85 MW offshore wind energy project to be supplied by the winter of 2025-26.