Cochin International Airport in South Indian State of Kerala is the world’s first 100% solar power airport and received The United Nation’s Champions of the Earth Award for Entrepreneurial Vision.
Cochin is the biggest and busiest airport in Kerala state in India, and the fourth busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic.
The project began in 2013 in response to the rising cost of electricity, and in 2015 Cochin became the first airport in the world to be completely powered by solar energy.
“We started with a 100-kilowatt pilot project. We found we could produce about 400 kilowatts of power,” Kurian tells us. “Then we thought why don’t we scale it up? Why don’t we make the whole airport completely solar powered?”
Today Cochin’s capacity is 29.5 megawatts of solar energy, providing them with 120,000 units of power every day. Every part of the day-to-day running of the airport is powered by renewable energy; from powering the conveyor belts to the digital systems. The sunny climate has generated a surplus of energy which Cochin airport can utilise for when sunshine is not present.
Currently, solar plants are in eight locations, including the biggest plant which is spread over an area of 45 acres.