Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President of Infrastructure & Technology at Dubai Airports, and Ahmed Al Shamali, Head of Engineering Standards & Energy Management, at the solar energy installation at DXB’s Terminal 2 Image Credit: Dubai Airports

Dubai: Dubai International’s Terminal 2 just got smarter and eco-friendlier with the installation of 15,000 solar panels on its premises that will reduce its carbon emissions and save them Dh3.3 million annually in electric bills.

Dubai Airports, the operator of the world’s busiest international airport, and Etihad Energy Services Company (Etihad ESCO), a leading energy service company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), on Monday announced the completion of its project to install photovoltaic panels at Terminal 2 – the largest at any airport in the region.

The solar project has a capacity of 5 megawatts that will generate 7,483,500 kWh energy annually for Dubai Airports. The project will reduce existing Terminal 2 load by approximately 29 per cent. It will also slash annual carbon dioxide emissions by 3,243 metric tonnes, equivalent to 53,617 tree seedlings grown for 10 years or 688 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

The project is part of Shams Dubai, Dewa’s smart initiative that aims to promote the use of clean renewable energy sources by installing solar panels on useable rooftops in Dubai. It aims for individual villa and building owners to generate electricity from solar power and connecting it to Dewa’s grid to transfer surplus generation.

Etihad ESCO will provide maintenance services for Dubai Airports for a period of seven years from completion.

7.5 million

kWh energy that the 5MW solar project will generate annually for Dubai Airports

Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice-President, Infrastructure and Technology, Dubai Airports, said: “Dubai Airports has undertaken a variety of green initiatives over the past several years to limit our carbon footprint and support Dubai’s goal for a 30 per cent reduction in the city’s energy consumption by 2030.”

“These include the use of energy efficient fittings, the optimisation of cooling systems, the installation of energy efficient LED bulbs and many others. In addition to enabling us to limit our carbon footprint while cutting costs, these initiatives also support our long-term vision for a carbon neutral future in line with the aviation industry’s target.”

Ali Al Jassim, CEO, Etihad ESCO, said their partnership with Dubai Airports gives them an opportunity to play a role in Dubai Airports’ vision for energy efficiency and development.

“This also marks an extension of an existing partnership between Dubai Airports and Etihad ESCO, which goes back to October 2017 when we signed an agreement for the retrofitting of Dubai’s Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to enhance energy efficiency and cut down water and electricity consumption by 20 per cent. This once again underscores the role of joint efforts in achieving Dubai’s sustainability goals.”

Etihad ESCO aims to retrofit 30,000 buildings by 2030. It is currently preparing to implement Dh400 million worth of projects, expanding beyond building retrofits to include industrial retrofits and solar projects.