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Image source: South African Department of Transport
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Image source: South African Department of Transport

With dedicated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become a low carbon economy, Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) has officially launched the country’s first solar-powered airport in George, Western Cape.

Airport transitions towards green energy

Speaking at the inauguration, transport minister Dipuo Peters said on Friday: “South Africa has a high level of renewable energy potential and presently has in place a target of generating 42% of its power needs through renewable energy sources by 2030.”

She added: “The George Airport Photovoltaic Power Plant was initiated by the Department of Transport’s globally esteemed state-owned entity, the Airports Company of South Africa as part of its commitment to reduce the load on the country’s constrained power grid and to contribute towards sustainable development.”

Low carbon economy

[quote]According to eNCA, the ZAR16 million ($995,467) airport will generate 750kW in its first phase.

Highlighting this project, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, said: “This ground-breaking initiative shows that government is well on track in transitioning South Africa to a low-carbon, inclusive, resource efficient and climate resilient economy and society.”

She added: “The new solar-powered airport will rely on cost-effective, renewable sources to generate energy, and simultaneously support South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”

The Cape Times reported that the development of this solar plant was part of Acsa’s plan to reduce its dependence on the national grid and the two most popular airports in Kimberley and Upington, will also be installed with a solar-powered system.