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Welcome to SA’s first solar-powered airport

Travel News

Cape Town - At first glance there's nothing out of the ordinary about the regional airport in George, a town of just 150 000 residents on South Africa's south coast.

In fact though, the small site is Africa's first “green” airport to be powered by the sun.

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The control tower, escalators, check-in desks, baggage carousels, restaurants and ATMs - every service here depends on a small solar power station, located a few hundred metres away in a field of dandelions next to a runway.

Its 2 000 solar panels produce up to 750kW every day, easily surpassing the 400kW needed to run the airport.

The excess is fed back into the municipal power grid, and a computer screen in the terminal informs passengers: “Within this month (September), 274 households were supplied through this system with green electricity.”

For environmentally-conscious travellers keen to reduce their carbon footprint, it's a welcome development.

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