Genève Aéroport (GA) and the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG) are committed to the environment and to sustainable development and wish to produce solar energy together. The airport has the surfaces and SIG has solid experience in the photovoltaic field. Together, the approximately 55,000 sq m of roof to be covered with solar panels will produce about 7.5 GWh per year, i.e. the equivalent of the annual consumption of electricity of the 2'500 Geneva households.
Guided by dynamic environmental policies that promote renewable energies and following a shared reflection, GA and SIG have decided to carry out joint projects. First of all, the airport will provide 10 roofs, i.e. approximately 55,000 sq m so that SIG can set up its photovoltaic power plants.
The energy component of the environmental policy of Genève Aéroport, supported by the cantonal and federal energy policy, is based on three strategic pillars:
- consume effectively and limit the energy required for its activities;
- produce and use energy in the most efficient way possible;
- focus on and promote renewable energy supply.
For André Schneider, Director General of Genève Aéroport, “sustainable development has been defined as a cross-cutting strategic objective in all activities of the airport, which must develop its activities at the crossroads of economic, environmental and social requirements, in respect of its users, its partners and its residents.” As part of its partnership with SIG for the production of energy consumed on-site by the airport, about 10 locations have been identified for the installation of new photovoltaic solar parks.
SIG owns and manages 39 solar power plants in the Canton of Geneva, where the solar power production capacity is currently 48 GWh. Expert in this area, SIG joined forces with the Canton of Geneva at the beginning of the year to produce solar power on a roof area of 50,000 sq m. Thanks to the new areas proposed by Genève Aéroport, SIG will be able to expand its commitment to energy independence and the security of supply of the Canton.
As Christian Brunier, Director General of GIS, says: “By 2025, SIG would produce 150 GWh of solar power per year, which corresponds to the consumption of 50,000 households in Geneva, both by setting up own solar power plants and by supporting self - production by the purchase of their surplus production. Besides, since 1 January 2017 SIG has exclusively supplied electricity from renewable energies.” This new partnership for the development of locally produced solar energy, allows Geneva to actively contribute to the 2050 Energy Strategy of the Swiss Confederation.
The contract between the two public entities allows to define their partnership. Genève Aéroport provides its roof surfaces for the installation of photovoltaic modules. SIG funds the project and manages the studies, the construction and maintenance of the power plants. SIG will own the facilities over a period of 25 years. Solar production will be consumed in priority by Genève Aéroport. “This win-win collaboration allows both partners to contribute actively to establish Geneva as energy transition leader in Switzerland”, says Antonio Hodgers, State Councillor in charge of the Planning, Housing and Energy Department (DALE). He adds that this project “illustrates the usability of roofs for the production of renewable energies in order to reach the energy objectives of the Canton, i.e. a company with 2000 watt without nuclear power.”
In addition to this project, Genève Aéroport has taken many actions aimed at a sustainable development. Moreover, every two years, Genève Aéroport publishes a full report on the measures for employees and partners regarding the operation of its infrastructure and its environmental protection measures to reduce noise pollution and impact on the atmosphere.
The recent approval by the State Councillor of the financing of a high-voltage cable along the southern facade of the airport parallel to the development of the Génilac network for the supply of the airport area also illustrates this commitment. A total of 43 million Swiss francs are invested by public and private partners.
Pierre Maudet, State Councillor for Security and the Economy, said: “This partnership between Genève Aéroport and Services Industriels de Genève provides two autonomous public bodies that are joining forces to promote green energy. I note with satisfaction that this virtuous dynamic not only has a positive impact on the environment but will also stimulate other new projects in the context of research on renewable energies. These will be supported in the future by the innovation fund, which is to be set up under the 2017 tax reform.”
This approximately 55,000 sq m roof area with photovoltaic modules is the first stage of the joint and sustainable development of clean energies, which provides benefits to the entire Canton. SIG and Genève Aéroport are proud of this agreement that enables them to face the challenges of the energy industry.