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The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the world’s first airport fully powered by solar energy, is to become power-positive with the commissioning of its new solar power plant near Payyannur in Kannur district of Kerala.
Chief Minister of the State Pinarayi Vijayan would inaugurate the 12 MWp solar power plant on March 6, Managing Director of CIAL S Suhas said on Sunday.
“The power plant boasts of 12 megawatt capacity on a 35-acre land where CIAL introduced a concept of terrain-based installation where the geographical characteristics of the area are retained, and no changes made in the gradient of the land,” CIAL said in a press release.
Suhas said the cumulative installed capacity of solar plants of CIAL, with the new plant, has been scaled up to 50 MWp.
CIAL’s solar plants together generate two lakh units of power a day whereas the daily consumption of power in the airport stands at 1.6 lakh units.
“With this, CIAL leaps one step forward from its current status of being a power-neutral airport to a power-positive airport,” CIAL said.
“The focus was on building the plant by retaining the gradient of the land. This could accommodate 35 per cent extra solar panels which will subsequently generate more energy,” CIAL said, adding that the carbon footprint would be reduced by 28,000 metric tonnes per year.
The airport became the first in the world in 2015 to be fully powered by solar energy.