London Stansted receives planning permission for 14.3MW solar farm. Image: London Stanstead.

London Stansted has received planning permission for the development of a 14.3MW solar farm designed to make the airport’s energy supply more secure.

The farm will sit on land immediately to the east of the airport that’s already owned by Stansted, with the development set to include new trees planted, hedgerows reinstated and new hedgerows introduced.

A consultation on the plans for the 14MW solar farm had been launched in December 2021.

The solar farm will produce renewable energy to meet the airport’s current and increasing electricity demands as it races towards net zero by no later than 2038.

Stansted said all its buildings and airside vehicles are already carbon neutral through a range of energy management measures as well as sourcing its electricity from renewables.

However, the solar farm would free up renewable generation elsewhere on the grid to help the rest of the country decarbonise, Stansted said.

“We are delighted to receive planning permission from the Secretary of State for our 14.3MW solar farm on land owned by the airport next to the main site,” Steve Griffiths, managing director of London Stansted said.

“The development will see the airport generating its own renewable electricity on-site, connecting directly to our own private network, increasing the security of energy supply while at the same time freeing up renewable energy we currently purchase for others to use elsewhere on the grid.

“We will continue to explore new and innovative opportunities as they arise to ensure we deliver the airport’s future growth in the most sustainable and responsible way possible.”

Several airports in the UK are transitioning to zero-carbon emissions via the use of solar power. Earlier this year, AMPYR Solar Europe (ASE) signed a deal with Edinburgh Airport to develop a 9MW solar farm linked with battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The ground-mounted solar PV system and 1.5MW battery storage system will be situated next to the runway at the airport on a 16-acre plot of land. It is to be connected to the airport via a high voltage private wire network. The project is also to see the installation of 40 EV charging points.

Alongside this, a 15MW solar farm is to be developed for Glasgow Airport, with the intention of it being operational by summer 2023. Subject to planning approval, the solar farm will give Glasgow Airport the capacity to generate enough power for the airport campus and neighbouring businesses.