Cochin International airport, the fourth-largest airport in India in terms of international traffic, now runs entirely on solar power. (Not the planes, though). The move will make the airport completely power neutral, and is a stride towards significantly reducing India’s emissions, one of the world’s largest polluters.
The nearby solar farm responsible for powering the airport contains 46,150 solar panels. The farm itself covers 180,000 square meters (45 acres) of land. The project took six months to set up and cost $6 million (£3.8 million) to complete. However, this is a cost that the airport is projected to make up in the next five years. Not bad when the solar panels themselves are expected to last 25 years.
These solar panels are predicted to prevent the creation of around 300,000 tons worth of carbon emissions during their lifetime.
“Now, Cochin airport will have 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which technically make the airport ‘absolutely power neutral,'” Cochin International Airport Limited wrote in a statement.
This project may be a catalyst for other airports to start evaluating how they can begin to introduce solar power as a viable energy source. While not all countries have the intensity of the sun’s rays that India does, it is still an inspiration to begin pushing away from a dependency on non-renewable energy sources.
You can view the response to the new solar-powered airport, as well as some more information on how solar power will lower its carbon emissions, in this video:
Cochin Internationalis the first airport to become fully operational on solar power.