KOCHI: Marking the start of another era in sustainable development, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) — which runs the world’s first fully solar-powered airport in Kochi — is set to commission its new solar power plant at Payyannur. With this, CIAL progresses from a power neutral airport to a power positive airport.
The 12 megawatt-peak (MWp) Payyannur plant — at Ettukudukka — is slated to be dedicated to the nation by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on March 6. With the commissioning of the new plant, CIAL’s cumulative installed solar plant capacity will be scaled up to 50MWp. That includes seven plants functioning on the Kochi airport premises, and a solar carport. CIAL’s solar power plants will together generate 2 lakh units of power a day, whereas the airport’s daily power consumption stands at 1.6 lakh units.
“CIAL is known for its adherence to the idea of sustainable development, which prompted the effective utilisation of green energy for all its power requirements. This vision of embracing energy efficiency instigated the construction of eight power plants and a small hydro-electrical project at Arippara, Kozhikode. The latest in the series is the new solar power plant at Ettukudukka,” said CIAL Managing Director S Suhas.
The power plant is spread across 35 acres where CIAL has introduced a concept of terrain-based installation, under which the geographical characteris. Terrain-based installation increases land utilisation, compared to flat land, by reducing the space between the solar module arrays. The area required for solar PV installation is reduced to approximately 2.75 acres/MW in comparison to 3.75 acres/MW on flat land. This could accommodate 35% additional anels.
Decisive step in reducing carbon footprint
A cumulative installed capacity of 50MWp of green energy contributes fairly to the cause of championing sustainable development. A comparison:
It reduces the carbon footprint by 2,800 metric tonnes per year
This is on par with the fresh air received from planting 46 lakh tree saplings for 10 years
The reduction is also equivalent to not burning 11.9 million litres of fossil fuels
It is roughly the same amount of fuel used by over 7,000 cars every year