Dubai International Airport has completed the installation of a solar energy system that it says will reduce annual CO2 emissions at its Terminal 2 by 3,243 metric tonnes.

The 15,000 photovoltaic panels are set to generate 7,483,500 kWh of energy a year. It is the biggest system of its kind in the Middle East.

According to the airport, the reduction in carbon emissions is equal to 53,617 tree seedlings grown for 10 years or 688 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

The project was led by Etihad Energy Services Company, a subsidiary of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, which is aiming to promote renewable energy sources.

Michael Ibbitson, vice president for infrastructure and business technology at Dubai Airports, said the group wanted to support Dubai’s goal for a 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption by 2030.

Green initiatives at the airport have included the use of energy efficient fittings, the optimisation of cooling systems and the installation of energy efficient LED bulbs.

“In addition to enabling us to limit our carbon footprint while cutting costs, these initiatives also support our long-term vision for a carbon neutral future in line with the aviation industry’s target,” Ibbitson said.

Last month Dubai Electricity and Water Authority began a consultation into the possible development of floating renewable energy plants in the Persian Gulf.