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Cochin International Airport Goes Solar

India’s Cochin International Airport changed aviation and green energy history by becoming the first airport in the world to operate only on solar power. On August 18, 2015, the airport was inaugurated, complete with 46,150 solar panels across 45 acres of land.   The airport, which is one of the busiest in India, handling in excess of 1,000 flights weekly.

What does that mean for Cochin Airport? Insiders shared the 12 megawatt solar plan is producing 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for its operational functions, which technically makes the airport absolutely power neutral. The airport projects that the plant will save over 300,000 tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of planting 300 million trees.

The airport first dabbled in solar power energy in 2013 when they installed a small solar plant on the rooftop of an arrival terminal. Airport officials said, "When we had realized that the power bill was too high, we contemplated other possibilities. Then the idea of tapping into green power came. We consume around 48,000 unit (KWh) a day. So if we can produce the same, by strictly adhering to the green and sustainable development model, we would transcend a message to the world.” After creating a small plant they decided to go big, and three years later they have been able to sustain themselves fully through solar energy. The airport has reported that the plant is currently exceeding their own needs and making extra energy which will is contributed to the state's national power grid. That is until next year when the airport will add a new terminal and intend to once again expand their solar PV footprint to meet their growing energy needs. Cochin International Airport is paving the way forward and setting an example for India and the rest of the World to see. 

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