Ostend-Bruges Airport to become Belgium’s second-largest solar park

The Ostend-Bruges airport will soon have the largest solar park in West Flanders and the second-largest park in Belgium. The 66,200 solar panels on the site, covering a total area of about 303,864 m2, the equivalent of 61 football fields, will produce almost 37,000 MWh of annual energy – much more than the airport can consume. 

Ostend mayor Bart Tommelein (Open Vld) symbolically gave the starting signal for the construction of the solar panel park on Monday morning.

The energy generated will be used to supply electricity to the airport site. This means the airport can operate on 100% green energy. That is an essential step in the airport’s goal of emitting thirty percent less CO2 by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.

Reducing ecological footprint

Part of the electricity generated will be diverted to Antwerp Airport in Deurne, and the remaining electricity will go directly to local residents – about 10,000 families in the area. Introducing solar energy at the airport is a crucial step to further reducing its ecological footprint. Producing solar energy will save 9,600 tons of CO2 annually.

Energy service company EnergyVision will be responsible for installing, maintaining, and financing the 35 million euro project.

Citizen participation

According to EnergyVision, the location is ideal. The coastal area offers the best solar radiation, and most of the land along the runway is unusable for other purposes.

Large solar fields will be installed on the left and right side of the runways and on the aircraft parking lot. The area where travelers walk from the gates to the airplane will also be covered with solar panels. Ostend residents and SMEs can also invest through citizen participation. With a minimum investment of 250 euros, they can earn a return on their savings.

With this project, EnergyVision wants to strengthen its mission of making cheap, green, local energy accessible to everyone. EnergyVision and Ostend-Bruges Airport are also looking to the future. In the next phase, options for energy storage will also be added.

Established close to Lommel in the Flemish region, Kristal Solar Park is one of the largest ground-mounted solar parks in the country. The park covers over 93 hectares and uses over 300,000 solar panels. The energy produced is around 90,000 MWh per year.

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