Cotswold Airport to decarbonise operations with innovative solar from Solivus

Oct 13, 2021

Exciting news at Solivus HQ today! We are working with Cotswold Airport to deliver a ‘world first’ for the aviation industry, as seen on BBC News.

Together with Cotswolds Airport, formerly known as RAF Kemble, we are today announcing our new deal to install innovative thin-film solar across its estate. 

The airport will become the first in the world to use new ultra-low carbon organic thin-film solar (OPV) on top of an aircraft hangar to generate green hydrogen to fly ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric aircraft.

Cotswold Airport, previously home to the Red Arrows Aerobatics Team, has initiated plans to decarbonise its operations. The installation of 226kw is the first phase of its efforts to generate as much of its energy from renewable sources on site, while improving energy efficiency. Our team will use its specialist experience in delivering solar projects to provide the installation for Cotswold Airport in early 2022.

Using new generation lightweight thin-film technology that allows rooftop solar installations on structures that can’t take the weight of conventional solar, Solivus is proud to deliver a ‘world first’ for the airport’s aircraft hangars. The solar products to be used include a low carbon OPV technology which has won global awards for the small amounts of carbon embedded in its manufacture and its ability to be recycled - a perfect fit for Cotswold Airport’s sustainable ambitions. 

Cotswold Airport is already home to innovation that is leading the way in tackling aviation’s climate change impact. ZeroAvia, the leading innovator in hydrogen-electric zero emission aviation, has a 30,000-square foot facility at the airport - the company’s dedicated base for developing its zero emission engine technology for 19-seat aircraft. Our solar technology will be installed on ZeroAvia’s hangar at Cotswold Airport, with much of the electricity generated being used to produce green hydrogen in ZeroAvia’s on-site electrolyser, which will then fuel the company’s aircraft for test flights. The remainder will be used by the company to power its operations. 

Commenting on the announcement, Suzannah Harvey, CEO of Cotswold Airport, said:

“This solar installation is a significant step on our journey to decarbonise Cotswold Airport’s operations. We identified Solivus as a perfect partner to deliver a solar solution for the airport’s hangars, and look forward to working with them on further phases as we seek to maximise the clean energy we generate on site and improve our energy efficiency.”

Also commenting on the announcement, our CEO, Jo Parker-Swift, said:

“Cotswold Airport has shown itself to be a pioneer championing a new generation of technologies, including our thin-film solar solutions and ZeroAvia’s zero emission aircraft technology. 40% of global carbon emissions come from the built environment, so decarbonising the operations of buildings is going to be central to combatting the worsening climate crisis. So with this project we are excited to have the opportunity to decarbonise both aircraft hangars and air travel simultaneously!”

Flexible Thin-Film Solar Panels for Commercial properties: we deliver lightweight, thin-film solar solutions for large commercial properties where businesses are looking to lower their energy costs and carbon emissions but have buildings unable to take the weight of conventional solar. Flexible thin-film solar panels have unique sustainable qualities with a superior low carbon footprint in manufacture and very low costs for end-of-life programme through easy recycling.  Solivus solutions enable large buildings such as aircraft hangars, distribution centres and stadiums that can’t take the weight of conventional solar to become solar power plants, generating low-cost, clean electricity to power their operations directly where it is needed.

Our ultimate mission is to allow mega-buildings, homes and communities to lower their carbon footprint and generate their own local solar energy through our family of solar solutions. Using new thin-film solar technology to design truly innovative products, Solivus is opening up vast new markets previously unavailable to traditional solar - both in the UK and across the world.

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