TIRUPATI: Adding yet another feather in its cap, the Tirupati International Airport at Renigunta in the temple town has joined the league of solar-powered airports. Tirupati airport has become the fourth solar powered airport in South India and second in Andhra Pradesh. Vijayawada airport at Gannavaram is the other solar-powered airport in the State.
Tirupati airport has achieved this feat with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) inaugurating a 1 MW solar power plant at the airport.S Sreekumar, Regional ED, AAI, who switched on the plant, said, “Our aim is to ensure that Tirupati, along with all airports across South India operate completely on solar power within three years. We will be commissioning 8 MW plants at Hubli and Kadapa airports shortly.”
Tirupati’s ground-mounted solar power plant has been set up in four acres of land, parallel to the airport runway and its isolation bay. Tirupati Airport Director S Suresh said that with the temple town experiencing bright and sunny weather most of the year, the solar plant can meet over 75 per cent of electricity required by the airport in daytime and it is currently non-operational at night. As the AAI plans to make the airport operational 24x7 soon -- the Fourth Partner Energy firm, which set up the solar power plant, will increase the plant power generation.
Vivek Subramanian, co-founder and CEO of Fourth Partner Energy, said, “Tirupati airport solar power plant installation was challenging as part of the site is parallel to the runway and for this we had to obtain special construction permits and also incorporate design changes to eliminate the ‘glare effect’.