UK Power Networks Services (UKPNS) is to install a raft of renewable and sustainable energy technologies at London City Airport’s microgrid in a bid to boost its environmental credentials.

The airport is currently undergoing a £500 million redevelopment and expansion programme, that includes an extension to the passenger terminal and eight additional aircraft stands, and the airport has signalled its intent to become carbon neutral by 2020.

To achieve this, it has turned to UKPNS, the airport’s long-standing energy infrastructure partner, to deliver a microgrid that combines solar PV, combined heat and power and smart automation technologies to effectively double the size of the airport’s electric distribution infrastructure.

UKPN finances, owns, operates and maintains London City’s electricity network under contract, and is supporting the airport’s wider energy strategy, which incorporates the introduction of EV charging infrastructure.

Upgrades to the existing distribution network will see a near-doubling of its electricity capacity from 3.6MVA to 7MVA through the installation of new substations, which will be complemented by a new solar installation and connected to an existing CHP unit.

A new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system will also be installed, allowing UKPNS to monitor and control the network remotely.

The company said the new, integrated solution would both enhance the airport’s energy security and reduce the cost of infrastructure around the airport.

Peter Adams, chief development officer at London City Airport, said the “next chapter” of its collaboration with UKPNS would “embrace the latest low carbon technology to deliver growth more sustainably”.

Ian Smyth, director at UKPN, added: “Microgrids are the holy grail of new sustainable renewable energy networks. Finding ways to make microgrids economically viable and self-funding has challenged global energy markets for decades.

“We’re proud to be a long-term partner with such an ambitious airport as London City that is committed to transforming the passenger experience, bringing innovation and long-term sustainability. We will continue to work together to identify innovative ways of addressing the airport’s energy requirements.”

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