Cochin International Airport in Kerala, India has a 12 MW solar power plant and generates all of its own electricity. 46,000 solar panels provide the power now, but the airport initially started with just 400 in a pilot project. Once that proved successful, it went all out and created the much larger plant, which actually makes more electricity than the airport needs, with the excess being sent to the state grid.
The full-scale solar plant cost about $9.5 million and took six months to install and make operational. The solar system will reduce CO2 emissions and provide clean electricity for many years. Fifty acres of land was used to make the solar power facility.
“Based on installed capacity, CIAL is the largest project which has been executed by the Bosch Energy and Building Solutions team in India till date. We draw strength from our broad based technical know-how and experience, pan-India presence and understanding of different regions in India, as well as strong local competence to deliver customized design and engineering projects. The combination of these factors helped us to resolve constraints imposed by on-site conditions,” explained Dr. Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Group India.
Cochin International Airport’s solar plant is the largest one located at an airport in India. Cochin is one of the busiest airports in India, with over 5 million passengers a year. It would be interesting to know how many of them are aware that the airport runs on solar power, or if they learn about that fact during a visit, or if they care at all. The Delhi airport has a 2.1 MW solar array, but Cochin is the larger one by far.
It is exciting that a large airport could generate all its electricity from a single solar power plant, and one that was not excessively costly to create. In fact, it may turn out that other airports follow suit – especially if solar panels continue to drop in price.
Image Credit: Biyu Jayakrishnan, Wiki Commons