Alice Springs Airport (ASA) is rolling out the second stage of its renewable energy strategy with an expansion of its Solar Power Station, using BenQ Solar mono-crystaline modules.
Construction on the new 325 KW photovoltaic (PV) system began this month. The project, valued at $1.7 million, includes the installation of steel structures that will serve the dual purpose of mounting the solar panels and providing shaded, premium car parking.
The panels that have been chosen for the installation are BenQ Solar mono-crystaline modules, which were selected for their superior performance in high heat as well as their black appearance, which reduces glare. The shade structures have been designed to accommodate most of the vehicles used to seeing in Central Australia — four-wheel drives complete with roof racks will have no problems fitting underneath.
ASA currently receives approximately a quarter of its power needs from its existing 235kW power station, which was completed in 2010. The additional 996 panels, which will cover half the existing long term car park, will more than double the airport’s capacity to produce its own power and will offset the equivalent of 420 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
ASA General Manager Katie Cooper said the airport is continually finding ways of becoming more energy efficient, and projects like this one are at the heart of a long-term strategy.
Local company Sitzler has been appointed as contractor for the project, which is expected to be opened in June.