Formula 1 action returns to the Algarve this weekend for the Portuguese Grand Prix, and while the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen prepare to battle on the track, we’ve taken a look at the sustainable energy sources off it used to power the event.
Portimão held its first ever Formula 1 World Championship event last year, which saw Hamilton seal his historic 92nd win, passing Michael Schumacher’s all-time race wins record, on the way to his seventh title.
Opened in 2008, the Algarve International Circuit is one of the world’s newer racing circuits, especially alongside other Grand Prix venues, which made it all the easier to set up the facility for a sustainable future.
Since 2016, the venue has been powering its facilities and events using solar power, with five Electric Solar Power plants spread around the 21.500m2 complex, which alongside the racetrack boasts a 5-star hotel, the Kartódromo and off-road track. The five plants, which house around 25,000 solar panels, produce 5.7 Mega Watts of energy, enough to power 2,500 apartments per year.
This cuts down the circuit’s carbon emissions by more than 5,100 tons of CO2 per year.
While the main purpose of the Electric Solar Power plants is to power the facilities, the solar thermal panel are also used to heat the hot water consumed at the racetrack.
Due to the venue’s undulating racetrack, which has been dubbed the “rollercoaster” by drivers and fans alike, the largest Electric Solar Power plant which sits on the north side of circuit, can be seen as drivers make their way through Turn 7 – keep an eye out for it this weekend!
Aside from solar power, the Algarve International Circuit has invested in other sustainable ways of operating, including the ability to recycle the water from rainfall and natural founts to use in the complex’s green areas irrigation systems.
In addition to the great work the AIC is doing on the ground, the carbon emissions produced from the Portuguese military flyover that will take to the skies ahead of Sunday’s race will be offset against a Gold Standard mixed climate portfolio project.