India : The world’s first solar-powered airport

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India is making its solar power development a step greener by building a solar powered airport. Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister, is currently in the midst of ramping up the solar power generation sector.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the fourth largest international airport, located in the Southern state of Kerala, India, has a 12 MWp (megawatt peak) solar power plant with 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres. There is an increasing number for generating electricity from 4,000 units daily last year into 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity everyday, which is more than enough to meet its daily requirement. CIAL claims to be the world’s first fully solar-powered airport.

According to VJ Kurian, Managing Director of CIAL, the airport first initiated the project in February 2013 as part of a plan to shift the renewable energy by setting up a 100 kilo watt unit on the rooftop of its arrival terminal followed by 1 MW unit in November 2013.

The future goal for this green power project is to avoid carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power plants by more than 3 lakh metric tons, which is equivalent to the plantation of 3 million trees and not having to drive for 750 miles for the next 25 years, as stated officially by the CIAL authorities.

India is in the middle of an ambitious expansion which the government plans to increase the country’s solar power capacity from 4GW to 100GW and 60 GW wind power targets by 2020 with the help of massive investment plans of $1000 billion in the next seven years by Asia’s biggest billionaires.

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