CIAL commissions floating solar power plant using French technology

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 17, 2021

Floating solar power plants at CIAL. Photo: Special Arrangement

Now, total installed capacity of airport is 40 MWp

In its effort to sustain the airport power positive using green energy, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) -- the company that operates the world’s first airport fully powered by solar energy -- has commissioned one of the biggest floating solar power plants with a capacity of 452 KWh.

With this installation, the total installed capacity of the airport has become 40 MWp helping the company to produce around 1.60 lakh units of power a day whereby the daily consumption stands around at 1.30 lakh units.

CIAL’s tryst with the experiments in producing green energy achieved another milestone with this installation, as the company has introduced cost-effective high-density polyethylene floats using French technology, upon which 1300 photovoltaic panels were mounted and laid over two artificial lakes located in the 130-acre golf course.

The plants covering a total area of one acre are connected to the KSEB power grid which is to be banked when needed. The pre-commissioning trials showed that these panels which cost around Rs2 crore are producing power with maximum output efficiency among the eight solar power plants installed at various locations in the airport premises.

V J Kurian, founder Managing Director, CIAL, attributed the success of the plant to the efforts in bringing in new technologies and its working philosophy which is at par with global standards. “CIAL has been reinventing itself since its formative days. One of our innovations which proved that relying upon green energy is possible even for the high energy consumers like an airport has won us the champions of the earth award instituted by the United Nations. We are committed to the protection of nature and trying our best to reduce the carbon footprints” he added.

CIAL successfully executed the idea of Total Sustainability Management (TSM) in its golf course where treated water from the sewage treatment plant of the airport is used for water harvesting with the help of 12 artificial lakes. The water from these lakes is used for irrigating the lawns of the golf course and now, with the installation of the floating plants, it has leapt one more step forward in TSM.

Traditionally, the installation of the floating power plant costs two to three times more than that of the ground mounted one, But with the inception of the novel French technology that too for the first time in the country could bring down the cost at par with that of floor installation. The technical assistance was provided by the French company Ciel Terra.

Published on January 17, 2021

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