Scripting another milestone in aviation history, Cochin International Airport has become the first airport in the world to be run completely on solar energy.
Inaugurated by Hon.Chief Minister Mr.Oommen Chandy, on August 18, 2015, the solar power plant comprises of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres of land near the cargo complex. Making the airport power neutral, these solar panels produce 50-60,000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions.
When airport personnel realized that the power bills were high, they started to contemplate the various possibilities that would help reduce the consumption of energy. The idea of tapping green energy was then conceptualized and they decided to start small. The total energy consumed per day was 48,000 units and they believed that if they could produce the same amount of energy adhering to the green and sustainable model of infrastructure development, they could send a message to the world.
Starting small, the airport installed a 100 kWp solar PV plant on the rooftop of the Arrival Terminal Block. When this was a success they decided to take it a step further, eventually resulting in what you see today.
The plant will now produce 18 million units of power from the sun annually which is the power equivalent to feed 10,000 homes in the same time. This phenomenon, over the next 25 years, will reduce the carbon emissions from coal fired power plants by more than 3 lakh metric tons which is equivalent to planting 3 million trees.