Vinci Concessions Celebrates First Solar Power Plant at Toulon Hyères Airport

March 29, 2024
Toulon Hyères is the first French airport to achieve net zero emissions in its activity scope and is one of only 10 airports worldwide to have obtained ACA level 5 in recognition of their decarbonization efforts.

VINCI Concessions celebrates reaching net zero emissions at Toulon Hyères1 airport, in the presence of Jean-Pierre Giran, President of the Métropole Toulon Provence Méditerranée, Xavier Huillard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of VINCI and Nicolas Notebaert, Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Concessions and Chairman of VINCI Airports.

The event provided an opportunity to present Toulon Hyères airport’s environmental action plan, implemented at the initiative of VINCI Airports, which has been managing the airport since 2015. This plan made it possible to reduce the airport’s direct CO2 emissions by 92.5% between 2018 and 2022 thanks to:

  • introduction of an energy efficiency policy (motion detectors, temperature set points, etc.);
  • replacement of conventional lightbulbs by LEDs in the terminal and aircraft parking zones;
  • replacement of a heavy-fuel boiler by heat pumps;
  • use of electric or biofuel-powered runway vehicles, and
  • signature of a guaranteed renewable energy electricity contract.

In order to capture its residual emissions (48 t of CO2 over 30 years), the Toulon Hyères airport has committed to funding reforesting work in a parcel of Le Lavandou forest, alongside the South Region, the National Forestry Office, the Méditerranée Portes des Maures Community of Communes and the Commune of Le Lavandou.

Today was also an opportunity to inaugurate the airport’s new roof-top solar power plant. This array, installed on the roof of the car-rental car park (180 parking spaces), could produce up to 690 MWh per year of electricity for the airport. Any surplus production will be injected into the urban grid. This is the airport’s first such solar power plant. The second one, scheduled for 2026, will be installed on the roof of a car park with more than 700 parking spaces. This large-scale project reflects VINCI Concessions’ ambition to produce renewable energy on site in all its airports.

Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and Chairman of VINCI Airports commented: “Toulon Hyères airport is a perfect illustration of the decarbonisation policy rolled out by VINCI Concessions since 2016 in all its airports worldwide. We are proud that it has reached net zero emissions for its direct activities. All VINCI Concession’ teams are mobilised to achieve this goal in all the European Union airports and also at London Gatwick by 2030. Inauguration of the solar power plant also demonstrates our determination to provide our infrastructure assets with electricity from renewable sources, as here, in partnership with our subsidiary SunMind.”

It was at COP 28 that Toulon Hyères airport was awarded the highest distinction in the ACI (Airports Council International) ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation) programme, i.e. ACA level 5, alongside three other airports in the VINCI Airports network (Beja, Ponta Delgada and Madeira in Portugal). This certification, achieved by only 10 airports worldwide, recognizes the efforts made to reduce the airport’s direct emissions but also the work done to help airport stakeholders decarbonise their own activities. At Toulon Hyères, this entails providing sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), eco-modulation of landing fees based on aircraft emissions to encourage airline companies to use lower-emission aircraft, providing decarbonised electricity for aircraft and installing electric vehicle charging facilities for drivers using the airport.

[1] As concerns Toulon Hyères airport’s own direct emissions (scopes 1 and 2)