Tesla’s Elon Musk has long propagated the idea that solar is the power source of the future, and tech giants like Apple and Amazon have recently been pushing to reduce their dependence on non-renewables. But Cochin, a city in the South Indian state of Kerala, has upped the ante, announcing that its international airport will now run completely on solar power from 46,150 panels laid across 45 acres.
THE EQUIVALENT OF PLANTING THREE MILLION TREES
According to a press release, Cochin International’s solar power station is expected to save 300,000 tons worth of carbon emissions over the next 25 years. That’s the equivalent of planting three million trees or not driving 750 million miles.
The airport’s parent company, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), plans to sell surplus energy from the new solar plant to the Kerala State Electricity Board. CIAL has also said that it is looking to continue exploring alternate energy resources, taking advantage of the numerous water bodies in Kerala through dam-based solar panels and other hydro power projects.
India already has 4 gigawatts of solar capacity, and the Indian government has begun directing other airports around the country to start incorporating solar energy into their daily operations. The new international terminal at the Cochin airport will be operational in May 2016.