VINCI Airports launch Faro solar plant


VINCI Airports has launched Portugal’s first in-airport solar plant at Faro Airport which will supply 30% of the facility’s electricity – including Faro Airport’s business aviation terminal. The plant will have a capacity of 3MWp (Mega Watt peak) generating an annual saving equivalent to more than 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide. The solar plant, which will be operational in 2022, is financed, developed, built and will be operated by VINCI Airports through its photovoltaic subsidiary SunMind.

Nicolas Notebaert, president, VINCI Airports, said: “VINCI Airports is proud to be launching a new phase in Faro airport’s development today, alongside the Portuguese authorities. Together, we are placing the recovery of Portugal’s tourism under the banner of environmental progress”.

By choosing Faro as the first in-airport solar plant in Portugal, the firm said it is taking a new step in its environmental action plan in the Algarve region. VINCI has been making partnerships with local environmental organisations such as the Centre for Marine Sciences of the University of Algarve. The company has achieved a 13% decrease in carbon emissions throughout its airport network between 2018 and 2020.

The solar plant is also part of a global action plan deployed by VINCI across all its 45 airports in 12 countries, with similar projects already in action or development in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, the UK, Serbia, Sweden and France.

Recently the company began supplying Air bp SAF at its Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport, the company’s first ongoing supply of SAF in the country. Biofuels are one of the main pillars of VINCI Airports ’environmental commitment to decarbonise aviation. In France, VINCI said biofuels represent a decarbonisation solution for aviation that can be implemented immediately, before other breakthroughs such as hydrogen-powered aircraft intervene.

Notebaert added: “Sustainable biofuels represent a short-term solution to decarbonise aviation and are an integral part of the ambitious environmental strategy that we have been pursuing since 2015 to reduce our carbon footprint and involve our stakeholders in this same movement.”