After adorning many firsts in its cap, like being the pioneer in PPP model in building an airport to introducing a path-breaking rehabilitation package for evictees, Cochin International airport limited (CIAL) is all set to become the first airport in the country which would be operating on solar power. When the PV panels laid across 45 acres near cargo complex become functional, in near future, Cochin airport will have 50000 to 60000 thousand units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which will technically make the airport ‘ absolutely power neutral ‘.
CIAL has ventured into the Solar PV sector during March 2013, by installing a 100 kWp solar PV Plant on the roof top of the Arrival Terminal Block. This was a trend setter in the field of grid-connected solar PV in the State of Kerala. The plant was installed by the Kolkata based M/s Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd. 400 numbers of polycrystalline modules of 250Wp with five numbers of 20kW capacity Refu-sol make string inverters were used in this plant. This is a grid connected system without any battery storage.
After the successful commissioning of this plant, CIAL installed a 1 MWp solar PV power plant partly on the roof top and partly on the ground in the Aircraft Maintenance Hangar facility within the Airport premises. This plant was installed by Emvee Photovoltaic Power Pvt. Ltd. 4000 numbers of monocrystalline modules of 250Wp with thirty three numbers of 30kW capacity Delta make string inverters were used in this plant, which is the first Megawatt scale installation of Solar PV system in the State of Kerala.
Both these plants are equipped with a SCADA system, through which remote monitoring is carried out. After commissioning, these plants have so far saved more than 550MT of CO2 emission contributing to the efforts of CIAL towards minimizing environmental degradation.
CIAL is now in the process of setting up a 12MWp solar PV plant as part of its green initiatives. This will come up in an area of about 45 acres near the International Cargo premises. The work has been awarded to M/s Bosch Ltd. The project components include PV modules of 265Wp capacity manufactured by Renesola, and Inverters of 1MW capacity manufactured by ABB India. After commissioning, this installation is expected to generate around 48000 units per day, which along with the electricity generated from the existing 1.10 MWp plants, would be sufficient to meet the power requirement of the Airport. The 12MWp PV Plant is expected to be commissioned during August 2015.