The Hyderabad International Airport is using 24 acres of its vast land bank to initiate the shift to clean energy.
After Kochi, the Hyderabad international airport plans to go entirely green. It has begun by generating captive solar power that meets one-fifth of its energy needs, using 24 acres of its vast land bank to initiate the shift to clean energy.
A 5 MW solar power plant close to the GMR Hyderabad International Airport or GHIAL is generating 25,000 units a day of pollution free energy, to meet the airport's peak power demand during day-time. That is enough energy to power nearly 5,000 urban homes.
SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, explains with parity in prices between thermal grid current and solar power, this provides insurance against future price rise of commercial power.
He explains the plant meets 20 per cent of the airport's current energy needs. "With the new solar policy and provisions for bankings, we would like to go entirely solar very soon,'' he adds.
Over 16,000 solar panels have been set up on an area of 24 acres, at a cost of Rs 30 crore. That equals planting 20 lakh trees in terms of environmental benefits compared to using thermal energy, say airport authorities.
The energy generated will save 12 tonnes of coal and nearly 80,000 litres of water every day compared to thermal power. The airport authorities plan to add another 7MW in the next financial year. The eventual target is generating nearly 25 MW solar power, according to Mr Kishore. ''We are planning for solar expansion along with expansion of airport.''
Delhi was the country's first airport to go for 2MW solar power. After that Kochi went 100 per cent solar with panels on the rooftop. Delhi has now placed additional solar panels along the runway. Hyderabad's airport has enough land bank, so at present the solar field is on area near access road to airport. In the future, there will be solar panels on the rooftop.