Indian airport becomes first to be powered entirely by solar energy

Cochin International Airport in the Indian state of Kerala has become the first airport in the world to be run entirely on solar energy.

The airport invested $10m in a 13MW, 18ha solar plant, which was inaugurated in August.

It estimates that this will pay for itself in about five years. In addition, a number of rooftops have been fitted with photovoltaic panels.

"What we have proved to the world is that an airport can be run by solar energy. So it’s a proud project," Pallavi Sanalkumar, operations engineer at Cochin, told the AJ+ website.

The airport sells surplus solar energy to the Kerala State Electricity Board during the day and takes it back at night, which makes the airport "power neutral", according to Sanalkumar.

Sunalkumar said that 33 other Indian airports were considering implementing similar solar power schemes.

A solar farm next to the cargo terminal (Binu Jayakrishnan/Wikimedia Commons)

The airport is India’s first to be developed by a public-private partnership. The funding for the scheme came from more than 10,000 Indian expatriates, as well as the State of Kerala and commercial banks.

The airport had 3.7 million passengers in the 2014/15 financial year, which makes it the third busiest in India in terms of international passenger numbers, after Delhi and Mubai.

See also:

India plans to cover canals with PV panels

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  1. Already the full production cost per unit of electricity produced via solar or wind power has now broken even with that of air polluting thermal full production costs per unit of electricity! In addition to this
    the ever rising costs of coal in particular will surely sway the power producers to turn to solar and/or wind power as is the growing tendency progressively world wide! Those airports which follow India’s example may even be able to reduce their passenger’s airport tax rates to encourage the influx of more tourists with valuable foreign currency to spend in their respective Countries! In addition ,in most cases the present break even situation has been achieved by private enterprise initiatives – thus relieving tax payers of otherwise government
    funded new power plant production and operating costs which are forever escalating!!

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