In a move that’s expected to save 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 25 years, the state of Cochin on the southwest coast of India has transitioned its airport to 100 percent solar power.
As of May 2016, the airport will run on 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres in a nearby cargo complex, and not only will the contribution to the environment be equivalent to planting 3 million trees, it will produce the power equivalent to run 10,000 homes each year.
“Now, Cochin airport will have 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which technically make the airport ‘absolutely power neutral’,” Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) says in a press release.
The airport, which is the fourth largest in the country in terms of international traffic, plans to sell any solar power it doesn’t use to the local Kerala State Electricity Board and will buy back anything it needs during overcast days or at night. It also announced at a recent press conference that it’s looking into other renewable energy sources – hydro power in particular.
“We are also looking at opportunities in generating power through dam-based solar panels and low-head hydro projects by utilising Kerala’s natural resources,” a CIAL representative said.
According to Ariha Setalvad at The Verge, India already has 4 gigawatts of solar capacity, and using Cochin as an example, the Indian government has been encouraging other local airports to seriously consider how they can incorporate solar energy into their operations.
Check out the airport in the Al Jazeera video below, they’re killing it: