Wednesday, December 01, 2021

More solar

The other day I posted about the renewable energy challenge if Aotearoa is to meet its climate change goals, arguing that we can do it. Today, Christchurch Airport has stepped up, providing another big chunk of what we need to get to a greener 2035, in the form of a 150MW solar farm:

Christchurch Airport is committing 400 hectares to create a renewable energy park with a solar farm that will generate enough to power 30,000 homes.

Kōwhai Park will be located on the airport's Harewood campus, with hopes it will help businesses to transition away from fossil fuels.

The park will scale up over the next 30 years with the first phase dedicated to a solar energy farm capable of generating 150 megawatts of electricity. That is about 20 percent of Christchurch's current residential electricity use.

The park will support future development of green fuel production for land and air transport, green data centres and green vertical farming.

The latter is interesting. Airlines are going to have to decarbonise, and they have a number of technological options available (electricity, hydrogen, and straight-out synthetic fuel are all on the table). But all of those options will need electricity, and the airport is basicly signalling that they're ready to provide it to help the transition.