After they agreed that their electricity bill is too much to handle managers at Cochin International Airport in southern India took matters into their own hands.
Three years ago, they began adding solar panels. First on the roof of the arrivals terminal, then on and around an aircraft hangar. The success of those initial efforts led to a much bigger endeavor.
"We wanted to be independent of the electricity utility grid," Jose Thomas, the airport's general manager, told CNNMoney.
Last year, the airport commissioned the German company Bosch to build a vast 45-acre solar plant on unused land near the international cargo terminal.
The plant came online in August, making Cochin the world's first fully solar-powered airport.
The big project cost around 620 million rupees ($9.3 million), a sum the airport expects to save in less than six years by not having to pay electricity bills anymore. It also estimates the solar plant will avoid more than 300,000 metric tons of carbon emissions from coal power over the next 25 years.
The success of the Cochin airport spread fast throughout the world but mostly in India where the Kolkata's international airport, which is bigger and busier than Cochin's, is planning to build a solar plant covering as much as 70 acres this year that would reduce its electric bill by a third, according to Siga Judson, the airport's general manager.
Cochin has received a visit from engineers from Liberia's airport authority who were interested in the solar installation. George Airport in South Africa, meanwhile, is developing a solar project of its own.
Cochin is already working to expand its solar-power base to meet increased demand from a bigger international terminal it's building. The airport manager said that they want to continue expanding their solar plant and set an example for the whole world!
"We want to continue our status as a power neutral airport," Thomas said.
source - money.cnn.com