A 12 MWp solar power plant situated on a 45 acre site near the cargo complex was inaugurated this month.
The 46,150 solar panel array is now generating around 50,000 to 60,000 kWh per day, and rendering the airport carbon neutral.
In 2013, the airport installed a 100 kWp solar rooftop plant at the Arrival Terminal Block. A 1 MWp solar installation followed, with a section situated on the rooftop of the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar facility and the remainder installed at ground level.
According to CIAL, the generation of around 52,000 kWh per day will meet the electricity needs for the airport’s operation.
“When we had realised that the power bill is on the higher side, we contemplated possibilities,” said Mr V J Kurian IAS, Managing Director, Cochin International Airport Ltd.
“Then the idea of tapping the green power came in. We consume around 48,000 unit (KWh) a day.
“So if we can produce the same, that too by strictly adhering to the green and sustainable development model of infrastructure development that we always follow, that would transcend a message to the world.
“Now this has become the world’s first airport fully operates on solar power.
“This plant will produce 18 million units of power from ‘sun’ annually – the power equivalent to feed 10,000 homes for one year,” said Mr Kurian.
In Australia, Alice Springs Airport will soon have one of the largest airport solar systems in the country with the announcement of a $1.9 million expansion project.
The airport’s investment into solar power infrastructure has already attracted a number of awards, and now more than 1000 photovoltaic (PV) panels will be added to an extended shaded parking area, which should increase the airport’s capacity to produce its own energy by approximately 40 per cent.
And in New Zealand, the country’s largest single rooftop solar system has been launched at Air New Zealand’s base at Auckland Airport.
The 480 solar panel rooftop array has been constructed on the roof of Air New Zealand’s Technical Operations base. The installation covers 750 square metres, the equivalent size of around three tennis courts. Approximately 160,000Kw hours of electricity will be generated by the hangar rooftop installation, with the system providing around 30 per cent of the hangar’s power requirements.