Łodź airport to become first in Poland with solar farm

The city of Łódź has unveiled plans for its airport to become the first in Poland to host a solar farm. The plant will both power the airport itself as well as sell electricity commercially.

“The airport site is unique, with very good sunlight, which will make the efficiency of this installation exceptional,” Łódź’s deputy mayor, Adam Pustelnik, told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily. “Such investments pay off very quickly, they guarantee independence: from supply fluctuations, from external factors.”

Poland has installed the EU’s third-highest amount of new solar power capacity this year.

„Poland’s solar performance has been remarkable,” writes @SolarPowerEU https://t.co/wBIVuEZYdK

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) December 20, 2022

The solar farm will cover an area of up to 13 hectares and is expected to eventually reach a capacity of 10 MW (€7 million). The cost of the investment is approximately 30 million zloty and will be covered by Volta Polska, a Polish-French renewable energy group, the airport’s press office told Notes from Poland.

The airport, meanwhile, contributes the land for the project. As part of the agreement with Volta Polska, the solar plant will provide part of its output exclusively to the airport while the rest will be sold commercially.

“Volta Polska and Łodź Airport have formed a project team to develop a detailed concept and shape of a cooperation agreement for a period of approximately 30 years,” the airport’s press office told Notes from Poland.

“The timetable calls for the contract to be signed within two months. This will be followed by design work, obtaining permits and construction work, which is expected to be completed in 24 months.”

Poland’s second-largest solar power plant has opened at the site of a former open-pit coal mine.

Covering an area equivalent to 375 football pitches, it will generate enough electricity to power more than 100,000 households https://t.co/8TbxlLkQvc

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) September 26, 2023

City hall says that the investment will make Łódź’s airport the first in Poland to host a solar farm. But Pustelnik notes that it will be following in the footsteps of other European airports, such as those in Düsseldorf, Bruges and Rotterdam.

Łódź has also recently announced plans to build a cluster of solar farms on an area of approximately 35 hectares previously reserved for a municipal cemetery on the southeastern edge of the city.

Solar energy generation in Poland has grown rapidly in recent years. Last year, it reached 8.7% of the country’s energy production, up from just 1.3% in 2020.

Large-scale solar plants have been built on former open-cast mine sites, but rooftop micro-installations are also very popular, with their number doubling in 2022.

Renewables generated a record 26% of Poland’s electricity in 2023, up from 19% the previous year.

However, coal continued to produce most of the country’s power, accounting for almost two thirds of the energy mix https://t.co/JQqfMkOK4I

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) January 3, 2024

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Main image credit: HuBar / Wikimedia (under CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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