Airports Authority targets 146 MW solar power generation at airports

Inspired by Cochin International Airport Ltd, the first PPP model airport in India, which produces 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day from solar panels installed at the airport, making it technically 'absolutely power neutral', the civil aviation ministry is getting ready for a green take-off with plans to generate 146 MW of solar-power at airports.

AAI has already installed solar power plants at 16 airports with a total capacity of 5.4 MW and 30 MW of new capacity is already in the pipeline.

So far, 51 lakh energy units have been generated from these plants, leading to a reduction of 4,600 metric tonnes in carbon emissions. By December 2016, additional 24.1 MW of solar power plants will become operational at 11 more airports.

In fact, the perspective plan of AAI targets augmenting the solar power generation to 116 MW by including 16 more airports.

Union minister of civil aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju today reviewed the progress of energy and water conservation measures at Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports across the country.

Explaining the energy conservation measures recently undertaken at the airport director of Jaipur Airport said the measures included maximum use of LED lighting, installation of efficient air-conditioning equipment, provision of energy efficient pumps and motors, a roof top solar power plant of 1 MW capacity and a 1.8 MW ground-based solar power plant under implementation.

All airport directors were encouraged to adopt similar initiatives, some of which have a payback period of as low as two years.

The status and scope of water conservation, water-recycling and sewage treatment plants at the airports was also deliberated upon. AAI is already using re-cycled water for horticulture, fire-fighting and air-conditioning requirements at several airports. The union minister directed the chairman AAI to provide similar infrastructure at all airports under his jurisdiction.

Raju appreciated the efforts of AAI and conveyed that not only should our airports be self-sufficient in energy and water requirements, but we should now look at feeding power to the national grid as we have sufficient open spaces available. He also directed that an airport-wise action plan on both energy and water conservation should be developed by AAI within one month.