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World’s First Fully Solar Powered Airport Unveiled in India


Kochi Airport solar plantIndia launches the world’s first fully solar powered airport at Kochi (Cochin), Kerala.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) had started the solar power venture in 2013 by installing a 100 kWp solar photovoltaic plant in its premises. Later, it installed a 1MWp plant, which, together with the former plant, so far saved the environment from more than 550MT of Carbon dioxide emissions.

Last week, the Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr.Oommen Chandy, inaugurated an additional 12 MWp solar plant with 46,150 panels laid across 45 acres. The latest installation, which was carried out by Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt. Ltd., is expected to generate around 48,000 units per day. In total, the airport will have 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity for its daily power requirements, making it “absolutely power neutral”. Also, the whole system is equipped with the SCADA system to facilitate the remote monitoring of the plant.

Kochi Solar Airport
The fully solar powered Kochi International Airport

By switching from coal to solar, over the next 25 years, the airport will save the planet from 300,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which, in CIAL‘s words, is equivalent to planting 30 lakh trees or not driving 750 million miles.

India, as it is situated between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, is having a huge potential for solar power generation. According to the government estimates, on an average, India recieves 5,000tn kWh of solar radiation per year. In the light of the recent revision of solar mission target, which is set to 100 GW (by 2022) by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (India), also revealed last week that it plans to set up a solar power plant of 15 MW capacity, across 60 acres of land.

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