The world’s first solar-powered airport, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), is set to become power-positive with the commissioning of its new solar power plant near Payyannur in the Kannur district of Kerala. The 12 megawatts (MW) solar power plant is to be inaugurated on March 6, said managing director S Suhas, CIAL in a statement.
“The 12 MW power plant capacity is installed on a 35-acre land where CIAL has introduced a concept of terrain-based installation where the geographical characteristics of the area are retained, and no changes have been made in the gradient of the land,” said CIAL in a press release.
According to Suhas, with the setting up of this plant the cumulative installed capacity of CIAL, has been scaled up to 50 MW. CIAL’s solar plants together generate two lakh units of power a day whereas the daily consumption of power in the airport stands at 1.6 lakh units. “With this, CIAL leaps one step forward from its current status of being a power-neutral airport to a power-positive airport,” noted the statement.
CIAL’s focus has been on building the plant by retaining the gradient of the land. This could accommodate 35 percent extra solar panels which will subsequently generate more energy. Also, the carbon footprint is expected to be reduced by 28,000 metric tonnes per year.
The airport became the first in the world in 2015 to be fully powered by solar energy.