Puducherry airport may soon get solar energy

Solar panels being installed as part of the 500 kW solar plant set up at the Puducherry airport.

Solar panels being installed as part of the 500 kW solar plant set up at the Puducherry airport.   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

The ₹3.5-crore 500 kW plant is expected to generate up to 3,000 units a day

The Puducherry airport will soon be fully powered by solar energy with the completion of a 500 kW solar plant that can generate up to 3,000 units a day.

The installation of around 1,500 solar panels on far end of the runway near Karuvadikuppam area has been completed. Work related to the setting up of a transformer, grid connection and electric works are nearing completion, Vijaya Upadhyay, Director, Puducherry Airport told The Hindu.

“We will be able to complete the work by January and connect the solar plant to the electricity grid in February. Once commissioned, our power needs will be met through the solar plant. In fact, we will be able to give excess power to the Puducherry government,” Mr. Upadhyay said. So far, the government had provided 60% of the cost, he added.

The airport operates two flights — Hyderabad and Bengaluru sectors — and would be literally shut in the afternoon and the power generated during non-working hours would be transferred to the grid. The plant was estimated to cost about ₹3.5 crore, he added.

Expansion plans

With the plan to expand the runway from existing 1,502 m to 2,000 m remaining grounded, the Airports Authority of India has decided to augment its existing facilities. The authority plans to expand the airport apron to park three or four aircraft. The project would cost ₹8 crore to ₹9 crore. Also, the new Air Traffic Control building would be completed soon, he said.

Plans are afoot to provide lighting on the periphery wall of the airport, he said and added that the airport had switched over to LED.

A snack bar would be opened soon in the departure area, he said.

Last year, the airport handled around 40,000 arrivals and 38,000 departures. Facilities are being improved as more flight operators have evinced interest to launch service from the airport. SpiceJet in all likelihood would start an additional service to Kochi from February, Mr. Upadhyay said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:53:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/puducherry-airport-may-soon-get-solar-energy/article29933514.ece

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