3ti has designed and delivered a 2.8-acre solar installation to Bristol Airport, helping it complete the next phase of its sustainability journey.

The ground-mounted solar arrays will generate 1.5 GWh of sustainable electricity each year and, when combined with existing renewable energy on site, will cater for over 10% of the airport’s annual energy needs. Bristol Airport will use 3ti’s solar installation to reach its ambitious target of 25% self-sufficiency by 2025, building on its success of becoming the UK’s first carbon-neutral airport in 2021.

The 3ti project will also help the airport’s efforts in achieving net-zero operations by 2030, following a multi-million-pound investment into solar power, the removal of gas use, air source heat pumps and low-energy LED lighting.

3ti has created a unique design for the Bristol Airport installation, spreading 2,968 panels across three steel-framed structures that sit low to the ground, using recycled railway sleepers to negate the need for deep piling.

The solar installation will generate the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 388 houses in the first year. Over its 25-year lifespan, it will save around 6,500 tonnes of CO2.

Richard Lees, delivery director at 3ti, said: “The installation at Bristol Airport posed a new set of challenges for us which involved many practical and functional considerations, including glare positioning and the impact on key stakeholders such as residents, airport users and the plane spotting community.

“We can now add airports to the list of destinations and workplaces that benefit from our installations providing renewable solar energy,” he concluded.