PVTIME – Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO Group) and EcoSmart Energy announced the official launch of the largest solar project in Hong Kong, pursuant to which EcoSmart will invest in the construction of a solar photovoltaic system with a total capacity of 3 megawatt (MW) on the rooftop of HAECO’s aircraft maintenance hangar No. 2 and 3 at the Hong Kong International Airport. The system consisted of a total of approximately 6,000 solar panels and its annual output of electricity is 2,877,321 kWh (equivalent to the electricity consumption of 631 Hong Kong households). It is estimated that approximately 1,064,609 kilograms of carbon emission (equivalent to planting 48,795 trees) can be effectively reduced per year. The project is expected to be completed in April 2022, marking an important milestone in the sustainable development of the aviation industry. HAECO and EcoSmart hope to take this feat to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities by committing to and encourage the use of renewable energy to promote sustainable development. The income from “feed-in tariff” can be utilised as tariff subsidies, and part of the proceeds is used to support the World Wide Fund For Nature Hong Kong, a partner of EcoSmart, for more companies and institutions in Hong Kong to understand the benefits of installing solar photovoltaic systems on idle rooftops, joining hands to reduce carbon emissions and cope with the climate change.
The solar photovoltaic system designed by EcoSmart for HAECO this time has adopted high-quality structures of the same grade as those of Gammon Technology Park at Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate and Cathay Pacific City at the airport provided by its structural partner, Gammon Construction, including Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), to avoid waste of materials, reduce construction risks and shorten the construction period. The solar panels adopted are Korean LG solar panels, which is one of the highest performing panels officially distributed by EcoSmart in Hong Kong. In addition to its resistance to strong winds and extreme weather as well as customised wind load design, it has the best fire proof and electrical safety features and the ability to slow down performance degradation. Besides, its optical coating helps reduce the energy lost at high temperatures. More importantly, its light reflective index is lower than 5% which is required by the Civil Aviation Department. The system is equipped with high-standard sensors and the most advanced IoT technology, Enerwise real-time monitoring system that is connected to Hong Kong’s first EcoSmart solar real-time monitoring centre to continuously measure solar irradiance to estimate the performance of the photovoltaic system. It also generates big data for analysis purposes, to ensure the power generation efficiency and the year-round operation of the system to achieve the highest quality and safety standards.
“Our vision, mission and values reflects our commitment to sustainable development and part of this is to lead the industry towards renewable energy,” said Patrick HK Wong, Executive General Manager (Line Maintenance) of HAECO Hong Kong. “On top of providing customers with a wide range of aviation services while operating our business, we also fulfill our corporate social responsibilities to our environment and community and commit to as well as encourage the use of renewable energy. We put safety first, driven through professionalism when serving our customers. Therefore, we were extremely rigorous when choosing the contractor for this solar power project. Our values are consistent with EcoSmart Energy, both attaching great importance to safety and quality. The difficulty and challenges of this project should not be underestimated. Upon the completion of the installation, it will definitely set an example for solar power projects in Hong Kong.”
As stated by Stephen Ma, Chief Executive Officer of EcoSmart Energy, “Our team, though, has undertaken a number of solar projects recently, the one commissioned by HAECO was definitely the most challenging. First of all, it took more than one year for preliminary preparation involving loads of work, such as obtaining approval from China Light and Power and all sorts of relevant applications, more importantly, the installations shall be in line with the development of Hong Kong International Airport and in compliance with specific requirements of aviation security, the security and safety requirements are uncompromising. Surface of the solar panels we use has to be low reflective to prevent any impairment of flight safety, and the structural installation and design must pass several safety tests, such as wind tunnel test and mockup testing. Also, the lifting operation involved is subject to height restrictions for safeguarding of airport operation, and our installation process is strictly controlled for avoiding disturbance to aircraft maintenance in HAECO, aircraft takeoff and landing as well as aircraft parking in the airport, it is challenging! Besides, as a committed contractor in Hong Kong in promoting green energy, our team wishes to shoulder the social responsibility and actively promotes cooperation between the business sector and environmental protection groups. Part of the “feed-in tariff” proceeds of our investment projects will be donated to the World Wide Fund For Nature Hong Kong to promote the development of renewable energy in Hong Kong. Such cooperation with HAECO allows us to make a contribution to sustainable development. We can also utilise the income from ‘feed-in tariff’ as tariff subsidies, for more companies and institutions in Hong Kong to understand the benefits of installing solar photovoltaic systems on idle rooftops, joining hands to reduce carbon emissions and cope with the climate change!”
“I would like to extend my gratitude to EcoSmart for engaging us as a partner to provide practical solutions to the climate crisis,” said Karen Ho, Head of Corporate and Community Sustainability, WWF – Hong Kong. “The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had warned that a 1.5 degrees Celsius warming above pre-industrial levels would bring catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change. And the sixth assessment report (IPCC AR6) is a ‘Code red for humanity’. The World Meteorological Organisation reported that the global average temperature in 2020 was about 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We are at imminent risk of hitting 1.5 degrees in the near term. The only way to prevent exceeding this threshold is by urgently stepping up our efforts, and pursuing the most ambitious path. We call on the public, governments and business sector to take urgent and impactful climate actions to achieve a ‘just transition’ to a net-zero economy. Time is fast running out to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. We need more socio-environmentally responsible project proponents and investors like HAECO and EcoSmart to help scale-up the local renewable energy generation to 10% by 2030.”