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Solar power plants in airport premises

In November 2013, CIAL Infra installed a 1 MWp solar PV power plant, partly on the ground of Airport Museum premises and partly on the rooftop of Aircraft Maintenance Hangar and Aviation Academy building. This plant was the first Megawatt scale installation of Solar PV system in the State of Kerala. Inspired by the success of the above plant, the company took a bold step to set up a large 12 MWp solar plant spread over an area of forty five acres adjacent to the Cargo Terminal. The power generated from both these plants were sold to the holding company CIAL. With the commissioning of the 12 MWp solar PV plant in August 2015, “CIAL became the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy”. CIAL Infra continued its foray into solar power generation to meet the increasing demand of CIAL on commissioning of its new International terminal, which doubled the energy consumption of the airport. In May 2016, a 2.4 MWp solar PV plant was commissioned adjacent to the existing 12 MWp plant. In March 2017 along with the inauguration of CIAL’s new international terminal, a 3 MWp solar PV plant in the aircraft maintenance hangar premises and a 2 MWp solar PV plant on the southern side of the airport outside the operational boundary wall were commissioned. In July 2017, a 2.7 MWp carport (covered car park with solar panelled roof) was commissioned in front of the new International terminal building. In March 2018, a 6 MWp canal-top solar PV plant over the Chengalthodu canal on the southern side of the airport, outside the operational boundary wall was commissioned. 

This was later dismantled and re-installed opposite to CIAL Trade Fair Centre in May 2020, in the aftermath of two successive floods in 2018 & 2019. After this phase II expansion, the total capacity of solar power plants owned by CIAL Infra touched 29.1MWp, with an average daily generation of 1.16 lakh units of electricity. To cope up with the increasing power demand of CIAL on commissioning of its newly renovated domestic terminal T1, CIAL Infra launched its Phase III expansion plan for solar plants having a total capacity of 9.8 MWp. It consisted of two plants, one is a carport plant of 2.6MWp capacity and the second plant is of 7.2 MWp capacity spread over five locations within airport premises. The carport plant is situated at two locations, one in front of renovated domestic terminal T1 and the other at cargo car park. The carport plant has been commissioned in the month of July 2019. The second plant of 7.2 MWp has been commissioned in two phases, 6.7 MWp plant spread over four locations in Sep 2019 and the floating solar of 500kW in Jan 2020. With the completion of Phase III expansion plan, the total capacity of solar power plants owned by CIAL Infra touched 39 MWp, with an average daily generation of 1.56 lakh units of electricity. This entire power is sold to the parent company CIAL, under long term Power Purchase Agreements between both the parties, whereby CIAL continues to enjoy the “fully powered by solar energy status”.

Solar power plants outside airport premises

As part of spreading its solar initiatives outside CIAL premises, CIAL Infra acquired 35 acres of land in Payyannur in Northern Kerala and implemented a 11.6 MWp solar plant. This is the first terrain based installation in India and the panels are placed in all directions, East, West, North and South. This plant was commissioned on 13th November 2021. The Payyannur solar plant was originally envisaged as a “captive power plant” for meeting the increasing power requirements of our parent company, CIAL. Unfortunately, Covid-19 pandemic has upset CIAL’s business plans and has also made their energy consumption go on a reverse gear. Therefore, we converted this plant to an “Independent Power Plant” (IPP) and started looking for a buyer for our green energy, for a short period of one or two years. Right now, the total energy generated from this plant is evacuated into the KSEBL grid.

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