Birmingham Airport

Photon Energy installed a 49.8 kWp photovoltaic (PV) system at Birmingham Airport, in partnership with npower. The PV modules were mounted on four south facing metal-clad roofs of the main terminal building. 

Details of the installation

This was the first renewable energy installation at Birmingham Airport and was part of a wider project to improve the energy management and reduce the terminal’s carbon footprint.

RWE npower was contracted by Birmingham Airport to carry out the installation in partnership with Photon Energy. The scheme was funded by Birmingham Airport.

The predicted energy output from the PV system is 40,000 kWh per year and will save a total of 22 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.  The output from the PV installation is fed into one of the airport’s distribution boards and is being used on site.

Paul Kehoe, the Airport’s CEO, said:

“It’s exciting for the Airport to present such a visible commitment to energy reduction. 

Managing our greenhouse gas emissions is a high priority for the company and we’re always seeking new opportunities to work with partners to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Further information

As the PV system was located airside, the Airport’s security regulations had to be observed.  This made delivery of equipment to the work areas more complicated. 

Photon Energy staff worked closely with Airport and npower staff as the installation work had to be carried out without causing any disruption to the operation of the airport.

In order to complete the installation before the reduction of the Feed-in Tariff rates, work had to be completed to a very tight schedule. 

The inverters and other electrical equipment are located in a plant room directly underneath one of the PV arrays to minimise cable runs. 

Graham Ryott, Development Manager at npower, said:

Birmingham Airport is committed to a sustainable future so installing solar PV as a way of generating energy is fundamental to its ongoing programme in reducing its environmental impact.  As one of the busiest airports in the country, Birmingham is a large energy user but supplementing its energy use with onsite generation is a positive step for the site’s future and npower is delighted to be involved.”

Equipment summary

  • System size:
    • 49.8 kWp
  • PV modules:
    • LDK 235 P 20
  • Inverters:
    • 6 x Fronius IGPlus150
  • Mounting system:
    • K2 Light Rail
  • Commissioning date:
    • July 2011