According to the press release from the airport authority, Hon. Chief Minister Mr. Oommen Chandy inaugurated the 12 MWp solar power plant, on 18th August 2015, comprising of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres near cargo complex. About 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity will be consumed by the airport for all its operational functions, and this will be provided by those 46150 solar panels that generate electricity.
This is not something new for the Cochin International Airport, as there was already a 100 kWp solar PV Plant installed on the roof top of the arrival terminal block, and it is there since March 2013. Later, 1 MWp solar PV power plant was placed partly on the roof top and partly on the ground in the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar facility within the Airport premises.
Given how these two plans generated electricity and were successful in providing what was expected, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) decided to scale up and set up a 12MWp solar PV plant, and this aids in the green initiative. The installation is going to be done by M/s Bosch Ltd.
For the need at night hours when sunlight is not available, CIAL has worked out a plan with Kerela State electricity board, where a power banking module will provide the power to the module during the day time, and at night, it would be bought back by CIAL. With this plant, the annual generation of power would account to about 18 million units (which according to CIAL, would normally be enough to power up 10000 homes for one year).
CIAL also said that they would be looking at more alternatives, and given how many water bodies the state has, they will look to take advantage of that and install dam-based solar panels, or hydro power projects to generate electricity with the renewable sources.
This installation will finish by May 2016, and the Chennai International Airport will be fully solar-power operated by then.