The Kolkata airport is all set to start using clean and green energy for its day-to-day operations, as its ground mounted grid connected solar plant is ready for commissioning. The 15 MW plant, capacity wise the largest one among all the AAI airports across the country, is slated to be inaugurated by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju. “Once the solar power plant becomes operational, we will be able to cut down on carbon emission and at the same time do some cost cutting once the solar power plant becomes operational,” said S Raheja, member (planning), Airports Authority of India (AAI).
The solar power plant will be able to meet the power requirement of the terminal building at the NSCBI Airport which is around 10-11 MW per day, Raheja said. The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport director Atul Dixit said the solar panels have been installed across 67.5 acre land in the operational area of the airport.
The plant will generate 1.35 million units per month and this will reduce the AAI’s power bill by around 1.20 crore per month, Dixit said. Only two other AAI airports have the ground mounted grid connected solar plant – Chandigarh (3 MW) and Jaipur (1.8 MW).
AAI has completed the installation work in six months in spite of operational hindrances and continuous rain, and the total cost of the project is INR 90 crore, he said. AAI has entered into an agreement with private power utility CESC (DISCOM) so that the excess power generated by it can be injected into CESC’s DISCOM grid and the airport can avail power from the grid when solar power is not available.
This is called ‘net metering benefit’ and AAI has obtained permission from the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission for it, AAI officials said.