London Stansted has been granted planning permission to develop a solar farm on land adjacent to the airport, as part of plans to make its operations net zero carbon by 2038.

The 14.3 megawatt facility will be built on land already owned by Stansted, at High House Farm to the east of the airport.

Approval for the project was granted by the Secretary of State, after an application was lodged in July.

Stansted said that the development was designed to meet the airport’s current and increasing electricity demands, including from the growing use of electric vehicles, adding that the project would be supported “by the implementation of additional screening measures such as planting new trees, hedgerow reinstatement and new hedgerows”.

A report by the BBC said that the solar farm would have a lifespan of 25-30 years before being decommissioned, and the land returned to agricultural use.

The news follows a recent update from Edinburgh airport’s forthcoming solar farm, which is set to come online next year and which will provide 27 per cent of the energy needs at the airport (based on 2019 levels).

Edinburgh airport’s solar farm set for completion in March 2023

Commenting on the news Steve Griffiths, London Stansted’s managing director, said:

“We are delighted to receive planning permission from the Secretary of State for our 14.3MW solar farm on land owned by the airport next to the main site.

“London Stansted has a long and proud track record of sustainable development, including achieving independently-verified carbon neutral status in 2016 for the airport operations under our direct control.

“The solar farm will enable us to build on this achievement in line with our commitment to make our operations net zero carbon by no later than 2038.

“The development will see the airport generating its own renewable electricity on-site, connecting directly to our own private network, increasing the security of energy supply while at the same time freeing up renewable energy we currently purchase for others to use elsewhere on the grid.

“We will continue to explore new and innovative opportunities as they arise to ensure we deliver the airport’s future growth in the most sustainable and responsible way possible.”