The solar farm is used to operate all four terminals at the international airport.
The panels are expected to generate nearly 15 percent of the airport’s annual electricity consumption and reduce electricity costs.
Melbourne Airport’s head of ground transport, Jai McDermott, said the 12-megawatt farm was part of the airport’s plan to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of 2025.
The airport management used flight cancellations caused by COVID-19 to install the 30,000 solar panels near the north-south runway.
“So even though the airport was completely quiet most days through the pandemic, we were able to continue with a great project,” Mr McDermott said.
Minister of Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio has praised the introduction of the farm.
“This fits in very well with our government’s own ambitions when it comes to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and most importantly, halving our emissions by 2030,” she said.
“It shows what you can achieve when you make a decision, you set yourself clear ambitions, and you take actions that can be seen and replicated.”
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Australia’s airlines have committed to net zero by 2050.