The first 100% solar airport

Cochin International Airport, in southwestern India, the fourth largest in the country in terms of international traffic volume, set itself the goal in 2013 of becoming the first airport in the world to rely exclusively on solar power it generates – and it has, as reported by CNN Money. The airport no longer pays any electricity bills, and in fact reverts the excess energy it generates to the general grid.

With the idea of ​​being independent from the general electricity grid, the airport commissioned the German multinational Bosch to build a 182,000-square-meter solar plant on unused land next to the cargo terminal. The thousands of installed panels manage to generate more than the 50,000 kilowatts of electricity that the airport consumes every day. The equivalent in consumption is that of 10,000 homes. The project involved an investment of 620 million rupees (8.2 million euros), money that is expected to be recovered within six years due to savings in electricity.

The example has already spread: Kolkata International Airport plans to build a solar plant that will cover 0.28 square kilometers of land, and the Indian government encourages other airports to install panels. The example of Cochin, as well as the project we recently picked up from installing solar panels on the rooftops of New Delhi, is part of an important commitment by the country to solar energy. It is estimated that by 2020, solar power will be cheaper than coal in India.