Cochin Airport Becomes World’s First Airport To Run on 100% Solar Energy
Indian Government is aware about the advantages and power of Solar Energy; and this is the reason that under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, they decided to generate 20,000 MW of power using Solar Energy , up from 2600 MW (2014)
Taking this mission forward is Cochin Airport, which has now become World’s only airport which runs 100% on solar energy. This airport is India’s 7th most busiest airport, and by converting 100% into solar, they have actually set a brilliant example which can be emulated by other airports.
In fact, inspired by this success, Liberia’s airport authority have visited them to understand the process; and George Airport in South Africa is also going to turn solar very soon. Besides, Kolkata Airport has also initiated process to make themselves independent from electric bills by installing a 72 acre solar park.
Indian Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju visited Cochin airport in January, and inspired other airports to follow Cochin’s brilliant example.
By spending Rs 62 crore for installing solar power system, Cochin Airport will no longer pay any electricity bill; and as per their own estimates, the investment of Rs 62 crore would be recovered in 6 years.
How This Happened?
Airport managers of Cochin were actually concerned with the rising electricity cost of the airport, and wanted a permanent solution. In 2013, they installed few solar panels on the roofs of arrival terminal, and then added more panels in and around an aircraft hanger.
Buoyed by the results, the authorities commissioned Bosch to install solar panels on a 45 acre land near the international cargo terminal. And the bet paid off magnificently, as by August last year, the solar panel system was able to generate 48,000 to 50,00 kilowatt of energy daily, which is actually more than their daily requirement.
The surplus energy is then supplied to a wider electricity grid, which is used for other purposes.
In fact, solar powered Cochin Airport will enable saving of 300,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from coal power in the next 25 years.
Solar Energy Gaining Momentum In India
Under PM Modi, a new revolution of solar energy is being witnessed, which has the potential to disrupt the traditional models of supplying electricity.
Asia’s largest solar park was opened in 2014 at Patan, Gujarat, which is spread over 600 acres, and is generating close to 600 MW of power.
Last year, Govt. launched innovative products like Solar powered WiFi system, which can easily transmit high speed Internet, using the power of Sun.
Not only Govt. has specially requested Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal to encourage and promote solar powered products; an Indian innovator has designed a unique solar powered sunglasses which can charge smartphones!
Due to Cochin Airport’s innovation and smart solar solution, a lot of new ideas and concepts in this niche can be soon launched in India.