Impacts of solar farms on aviation

by Pavel Davidyuk, Specialist Consultant - Aviation safety

Solar power is a growing source of renewable energy in Australia. The data sourced from Renew Economy shows that large solar farms generate between 181 MW and 463 MW, which corresponds to 1.9 % to 5.5 % of the total amount of electricity generated in Australia. In the future we can expect the number of solar farms to increase substantially which may result in increased concerns about the impact of glare from solar panels on aviation activities.

Solar glare refers to the reflection of sunlight from photovoltaic solar panels and has the potential to impact aircraft operations. If a solar farm is located in close proximity to an aerodrome or under flight paths, the glare caused by the solar farm can impair a pilot’s ability to navigate and or read the flight instruments.

To comply with relevant regulations, a solar farm developer needs to perform a solar glare analysis to understand the potential impacts of the proposed development on operational aviation. In some situations consultation with aviation stakeholders is necessary to seek feedback on the development and ensure that any potential risks are mitigated.

Aviation Projects provides assistance to solar farm developers to secure their planning permit by undertaking solar glare impact assessment which includes solar glare analysis and aviation stakeholders’ consultation.

To find out more about Aviation Projects capabilities in relation to solar farms, please contact us.

Tags: Solar Glare Analysis, Solar Panels, Solar Farms, Aviation Activities

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