CIAL to commission 12-MWp solar power plant in Payyannur

Chief Minister to dedicate the plant to the nation on March 6

Published - February 28, 2022 08:39 pm IST - KOCHI

Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the first airport in the world to be run fully on solar energy, will commission a solar power plant at Payyanur with a capacity to generate 12 MWp.

The Payyanur plant, which will be dedicated to the nation by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on March 6 on the solar plant premises at Ettukudukka takes CIAL from power neutrality to power positivity, said managing director S. Suhas. With the commissioning of the Payyanur plant, the cumulative installed capacity of CIAL solar plants has gone up to 50 MWp. They include seven plants on the premises of the airport and a solar carport. CIAL’s solar power plants together will generate two lakh units of power a day, whereas the airport’s daily power consumption is 1.6 lakh units a day. Mr. Suhas attributed the milestone to the leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is CIAL chairman. CIAL became the world’s first airport fully solar-powered airport in 2015. As the company has embarked on several new projects to develop infrastructure, its power requirements have increased over the years. CIAL is committed to sustainable development and effective utilisation of green energy, said a communication from the company here. The commitment to green energy has also encouraged CIAL to take up energy-efficient measures and to establish solar plants and a small hydro-electrical project at Arippara, Kozhikode. The latest in the series is the new solar plant near Payannur, said Mr. Suhas. The solar power field is located on 35 acres where the airport company introduced the concept of terrain-based installation, in which the geographical characteristics of the area are retained, and no changes are made in the gradient of the land. Terrain-based installation increases land utilisation. The land area required for solar PV installation is reduced to approximately 2.75 acres/MW as compared to 3.75 acres/MW in flat land, said the communication from CIAL. As a result, CIAL has been able to accommodate 35% more solar panels, which will help generate more power. The installed capacity of 50 MWp of green energy reduces carbon footprint by 2,800 metric tonnes a year, which is equivalent to the fresh air obtained by planting 46 lakh tree saplings over 10 years or by not burning 11.9 million litres of fossil fuel.

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