The Indian government recently released details of a long-pending program to integrate solar energy into the country’s airports.
The Indian minister for civil aviation recently announced that as many as 143 airports around the country will install a total of 148 MW of solar capacity over the next few months. According to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) solar projects of 5.4 MW cumulative capacity are already operational at 16 airports — this, however, does not include the 12 MW capacity operational at Kochi International Airport.
Airports have large rooftop areas, and in some cases, surplus land to set up utility-scale projects as well. Several airports utilize land alongside the runway to implement projects as well, an example being the Delhi International Airport, which already has a 2.1 MW operational project and which will be expanded further by 5.7 MW soon.
Last year, the Kochi International Airport made headlines around the world when it installed a 12 MW ground-mounted solar project and switched its operations completely to solar power.
Another airport is planning to one-up Kochi by setting up a 15-20 MW solar project. The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport in Kolkata was reported to have been planning a solar project covering more than 55 acres to meet 60% of the airport’s power needs.
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