An airport in the south of India is the world’s first to run completely on solar energy following commissioning of a 12-megawatt project overseen by Bosch Ltd. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday inaugurated a 12 MW solar power plant at the airport in Cochin, making it solar energy powered.
The plant comprising 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres in the cargo complex will enable Cochin airport to have 50,000 to 60,000 units of solar electricity every day for its operations.
The undertaking, at Cochin International Airport, is estimated to generate more than 50,000 units of electricity daily and will make CIAL grid-power neutral, Bosch said in a news release on Tuesday. Built on land covering 50 acres (20 hectares), the project is the largest of its kind to be constructed at an airport in India, according to the release.
The total cost of the project is around R62 crore. This is the single largest solar project which has been constructed in an airport in India. Through this project, coupled with an existing installed capacity of 1.1 MW, CIAL will technically become ‘grid power-neutral’, Bosch Energy and Building Solutions, the firm which executed the project said.
Bosch has 50 megawatts of solar projects in India either commissioned or under construction, C.M. Venugopalan, head of Bosch India Energy Business, said in the release. Cochin is located in the city of Kochi in the Indian state of Kerala.
Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) first ventured into solar power in 2013 by installing a solar plant on the roof top of the arrival terminal block. It was a trendsetter in the field of grid-connected solar energy in Kerala as it was a grid connected system without any battery storage. The plant was installed by the Kolkata-based Vikram Solar Private Ltd. Over the next 25 years, this green power project will avoid carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants by more than three lakh metric tonnes, which is equivalent to planting 30 lakh trees.
CIAL was the first airport to be constructed in India in a PPP. It is the fourth largest airport in India in terms of handling international passengers.