Teeside International Airport works with SSE on solar array

A joint venture between SSE and Teesside International Airport is set to deliver a solar array to power the equivalent of more than 17,000 homes.

The first phase of the project is due to enter construction in early 2024, and will see up to 3MW of solar generation installed to meet airport and local demand.

Additionally, there are plans for SSE to install a new ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hub powered by the solar array as part of Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s ambition to increase the number of public EV charging points in Tees Valley by 200% by 2025.

As much as 50MW could be delivered across future phases, which would make it one of the largest solar projects in the UK, displacing 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply each year.

It comes as Teesside International Airport announced plans to make its operations net zero last year by 2030, through the decarbonisation of its buildings and infrastructure, as well as development of sustainable aviation fuel production.

Neil Kirkby, Managing Director of Enterprise at SSE Energy Solutions, said: “This fantastic project aligns perfectly with SSE Energy Solutions’ strategy to help local authorities transition to a net zero carbon future, while creating great opportunities for local people.

‘To achieve this, we are building a strong presence within Teesside through the creation of a regional “hub”, the like of which we’re also establishing in many other regions across the UK”.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:  “Our work with SSE Energy Solutions again proves how we can attract the biggest and best companies to our region to work on innovative schemes, which provide well-paid, highly skilled jobs and serious investment while also delivering a greener future.

“This landmark agreement has the potential to deliver one of the biggest solar projects of its kind in the UK and will deliver our ambition to make the airport net zero. Indeed, it likely means the airport will be the first in the country to be carbon neutral.”

Phil Clements, Director of Energy Infrastructure at SSE Energy Solutions said: “I’m thrilled that our project takes a great step towards establishing a net-zero carbon future for the people and businesses of Teesside. 

“I’m proud that SSE is playing a part in helping deliver the decarbonisation plan set out by Mayor Houchen’s Combined Authority, and in doing so bringing jobs and additional investment to the area.”

Image courtesy of SSE

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