Cochin Airport Turns Power-Positive With New 12 MWp Solar Power Plant

With the installation of the new power plant, the cumulative installed capacity of solar plants of the Cochin International Airport will rise to 50 MWp. The solar power plants at the airport will together generate power of two lakh units per day.

Highlights:

  • The installation of the new power plant is done by retaining the geographical characteristics of the land.
  • The terrain-based installation enabled the airport to install 35% extra solar panels.
  • The arrangement would also reduce the carbon footprint by 28,000 metric tonnes per year.

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Cochin Airport

Cochin International Airport Limited, the operator of the world’s first fully solar-powered airport, is all set to commission a new solar power plant in Kerala’s Payyannur in Kannur. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would inaugurate the new solar power plant of 12MWp at Payyannur on March 6.

With the installation of the new power plant, the cumulative installed capacity of solar plants of the Cochin International Airport Limited will rise to 50 MWp. The solar power plants at the airport will together generate power of two lakh units per day. The consumption of power at the airport is only 1.6 lakh units.

The new power plant will upgrade the status of Cochin airport from the world’s first solar-powered, power neural airport’ to the ‘world’s first solar-powered, power positive airport. “With this, CIAL leaps one step forward from its current status of being a power-positive airport,” CIAL said in an announcement.

Better Land Utilization Through Terrain Installation Model

According to Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the new power plant of 12-megawatt capacity is established on 35 acres of land, based on a terrain installation model. The installation is done by retaining the geographical characteristics of the land, and no changes are made in the gradient of the land to accommodate the power plant. This will increase land utilization by decreasing the space between the solar module arrays. Compared to flat topography, the land area required for solar PV installation is lowered to around 2.75 acre/MW. The terrain-based installation enabled the airport to install 35% extra solar panels, further increasing power production. The arrangement would also reduce the carbon footprint by 28,000 metric tonnes per year.

Cochin airport became the world’s first solar-powered airport in 2015. Kerala and CIAL are known for embarking on such green initiatives. On November 6, 2021, the Kerala government launched CIAL’s Arippara Hydroelectric power project, including installing eight power plants, which will generate 14 million units of power annually. Kochi airport is the third busiest airport in India. CIA registered 95,758 arrival passengers and 1,57,962 departure passengers in January 2022. The airport saw a decline in international passenger traffic in January compared to December 2021.

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Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain.

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