A recent study by RMIT University researchers have calculated the potential production of solar power at Australia’s twenty-one leased federal airports.
In Australia, right now only four leased federal airports use electricity from solar farms: Brisbane, Darwin, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.
The researchers have found Western Australia’s Perth and Jandakot airports have the highest and fourth-highest potential in generating power through solar energy.
In fact, Perth would equal the combined production of Adelaide, Sydney, Moorabbin and Townsville airports.
This was closely followed by Melbourne and Brisbane coming second and third respectively.
The RMIT study, lead by Athenee Teofilo, showed potential electricity production in each airport was affected by panel arrangement and tilt.
Researchers have determined that panels installed across all 21 sites would generate enough electricity to power 136,000 homes.
This is about a third of the central Perth sub-region, a rural town or powering 71,000 cars.
Dr Chayn Sun told the Age that airports were ideal for solar panels as they were not shaded by tall buildings or trees.
“Airports with decent solar systems could not only be self-sufficient but would generate enough electricity to send the excess back into the grid.”
Dr Sun adds that Australia also has more than 150 privately owned airfields where such solar panels could be installed.