India officially has the first solar powered airport, with the entire facility being “absolutely power neutral” according to a statement given by the airport. The Cochin International Airport in the southern state of Kerala, can now create just as much energy as it consumes.
The Cochin International Airport is the fourth largest airport in India with terminal space of 1.5 million square feet. A 12 megawatt solar power plant was launched which consisted of 46,000 solar panels across 45 acres. This capacity should allow the airport to generate 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day, which is over what the airport consumes on a daily basis.
The project began in 2013 with a small solar panel array on the rooftops of its terminals. The airport now state that the array will cut an estimated 300,000 tons of carbon emissions over the next 25 years.
The International Energy Agency found that renewables are now the world’s second largest source of electricity. The Indian government now plans to invest 100 billion dollars in solar power in the next seven years to increase the capacity to four gigawatt to 100 gigawatt by 2022.
The Times of India reports that solar projects at airports are popular in the U.S, Canada and Germany. Another airport in Kolkata are already drawing up plans to go solar, making India potentially having two airports run on purely solar power. The future is definitely looking efficient for India with their ambition of achieving 100 gigawatt by 2022.