Further enhancing its solar-power banking facilities, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has commissioned its second substation.
A parallel 110 kV electrical substation for exporting the power generated by its eight solar plants to the Kerala State Electricity Board’s grid was inaugurated by CIAL managing director V J Kurian.
CIAL, which is the world’s first airport to be fully powered by solar energy, has been using only one substation so far to facilitate power banking arrangement with KSEB. This became insufficient as the company had recently augmented its solar power plant’s total installed capacity to 40 MW through the launch of the solar carport. With the commissioning of an additional substation, which was developed at a cost of Rs 16 crore the airport will now able to bank the power through two channels – one for the export of power to the state’s grid and the other for the import of power from KSEB’s grid.
“At present, the 40 MW solar power plants generate approximately 1.63 lakh units of power a day. The average consumption per day is approximately 1.53 lakh units. CIAL’s annual saving towards the electricity bill is Rs 36 crore. The solar power plants contribute to an annual saving of 37,200 MT of greenhouse gas emission,” an official statement from CIAL said.
Last year, the Airport was recognised by the United Nations Environment Programme as the world’s first airport to be completely powered by solar energy. In September, the CIAL was conferred with the United Nation’s highest environmental honour for 2018 ‘Champion of the Earth’ award in the Entrepreneurial Vision category.
“Cochin is showing the world that our ever-expanding network of global movement doesn’t have to harm the environment. As the pace of society continues to increase, the world’s first fully solar-powered airport is proof positive that green business is good business,” UNEP said in its statement.