Showing once again their genuine commitment to transforming Carrasco Airport into an energy efficient building, Corporación América, parent group to Puerta del Sur, the concession holder of the air terminal, has opened a new modern photovoltaic solar plant. This positions the airport as the first in Latin America to have its own energy generation system.
The plant, with a capacity of 0.5 MW, is part of the Energy Efficiency Project that the airport has in place, which includes a full shift towards the use of LED lights, heat pumps and free cooling for thermal conditioning.
In its first stage, the solar plant covers an area of one hectare by the entrance of the terminal and there are 1,540 photovoltaic panels arranged in seven rows from north to south. The metallic structure has state of the art technology in solar tracking, which allows the panels to move throughout the day capturing 30% more solar energy than traditional fixed panels.
The project is aligned with the sustainability goals of the terminal and with the global request from the International Civil Aviation Organization´s (ICAO) to mitigate the carbon footprint and prevent pollution by 2030, since by that time the number of aircraft travelers around the world is expected to double.
The airport’s team of technical experts worked together with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, the National Energy Directorate, UTE (State owned electric energy company) and the Control Unit of the National Directorate of Civil Aviation and Aeronautical Infrastructure (DINACIA), under the Ministry of National Defense in order to ensure the viability of the project. The plant was ultimately built by the Smart Green Uruguay and Ciemsa consortium.
National, regional and company authorities attended the inauguration ceremony, during which Diego Arrosa, CEO of Corporación América in Uruguay, highlighted the work undertaken in collaboration with the public institutions and stressed the airport’s commitment to energy efficiency.
“Being the first in Latin America to have its own solar power generation plant is a source of pride and responsibility for all of us at Carrasco Airport. The outstanding work undertaken by the experts and authorities who worked in this development confirms the leading position we have at national and international level in conveying how important it is to use resources with responsibility, generate a minimum impact on the environment and improve energy efficiency," said Arrosa.
The implementation of the project helped reduce the carbon footprint of the terminal, and as a result it was granted the Level I Carbon Certification of the Airports Council International (ACI-World), in addition to the ISO 14064-1 accreditation, an environmental management standard against which GHG emissions reports are voluntarily verified.
With this initiative, Carrasco Airport works towards its goals to improve efficiency and generate renewable energy, the two pillars of the company’s global plan to develop a system that is clean, safe and environmentally friendly. The solar plant installation is part of an additional set of actions that have been undertaken in recent years, such as the new air-conditioning system, and it is a confirmation of the terminal’s commitment to becoming a Green Airport.