Kochi: In a major step towards cleaner energy, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has become the first airport in the world that will operate fully on solar power.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated CIAL's green initiative -- a 12MWp solar power project, comprising 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near the cargo complex of the airport at a function on Tuesday.
The project is estimated to generate about 50,000 units of electricity daily once in operation, which will technically make the airport "absolutely power neutral".
CIAL has ventured into the Solar PV sector during March 2013, by installing a 100 kWp solar PV plant on the roof top of the Arrival Terminal Block. This was a trendsetter in the field of grid-connected solar PV in Kerala.
After the successful commissioning of this plant, CIAL installed a 1 MWp solar PV power plant partly on the roof top and partly on the ground in the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar facility within the airport premises.
Both these plants are equipped with a SCADA system, through which remote monitoring is carried out.
After commissioning, these plants have so far saved more than 550 MT of CO2 emission contributing to the efforts of CIAL towards minimising environmental degradation, CIAL said.