India’s tiny list of green airports might soon get a new entrant

PW Bureau

Whichever firm wins the tender floated by the airport authorities will start supplying 18.9216 million units next year as per the requirement

New Delhi: Chennai airport has finally begun the process to make a shift to green energy and reduce its reliance on the conventional electricity grid. Even though the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had earlier identified land to set up solar panels, the airport is now planning to go ahead and buy solar power at a concessional rate for nine years, starting April next year.

AAI looking to tap into surplus solar power supply

A senior official said that the airport management worked out the expenses before deciding to buy solar power instead of installing solar panels. “The tender will be awarded soon to a firm. This way we will be using solar energy and also encouraging a solar firm to make renewable energy. The move came as the AAI headquarters found out that surplus supply was available and could be tapped,” he said.

Airport has converted its lights into LED

The airport recently bought six sets of LED base lights for use for disaster relief as part of measures to make its lights and fixtures energy-friendly and has also converted its lights into LED, replacing the more power-consuming conventional lights it was using.

The airport has a total connected load of 17,550KW at 110kv from the state government grid and the total consumption for 2017-18 was 83.23 million units.

What’s the plan?

The plan is to reduce the airport’s dependence on the grid by sourcing solar power, thereby giving a firm the opportunity to produce solar power. Whichever firm gets the contract will start supplying 18.9216 million units next year as per the requirement.

The number of units will be scaled up every year and will touch 31.5360 million units in 2028-29. The plant will have a capacity of 12MW to 20MW.

The airport already has solar panels installed atop the integrated cargo terminals, and these generate 5MW, which is being used for the cargo terminal.