The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued three tenders for the procurement of a total of 3.7 MW of solar power through open access for the airports at Raipur, Coimbatore, and Aurangabad. The capacities tendered are 1.5 MW for Raipur Airport, 1 MW for Coimbatore Airport, and 1.20 MW for Aurangabad Airport. According to the tender document, the bidders need to supply 1.577 million units (MUs) of contracted energy for ten years and a minimum of 6per cent of the annual contracted energy, in any month of the year during the contract period. The successful bidder is required to commence supply of power from April 1, 2020 following the provisions of the power purchase agreement. The last date for the submission of bids for all three tenders is November 18, 2019.
The aviation industry is carbon intensive and heavily dependent on oil and gas for flight operations. This is taking a toll on the environment. Thus, the industry is facing increasing pressure from environmentalists to clean up their emissions. Airplanes are not solely responsible for the industry’s carbon footprint; airports too have an equal role to play. As airports expand, more energy is required to power new terminals and ground transport vehicles leaving a negative impact on the environment. To address this problem, many airports across the world are incorporating greener elements into their design and operation strategies. They are also implementing eco-friendly initiatives such as recycling and reuse, water harvesting, and limiting plastic use. In the energy space, a shift from conventional to solar energy has emerged as a popular trend.
Airports have a significant potential for solar power generation given the availability of large, flat and shadow-free areas such as rooftops of terminals, hangars, car parks and land around runways. The solar power generated on airport premises can help meet the growing power requirements of terminals. This will reduce the electricity bills of airports, especially through net metering. Moreover, the increase in air-conditioning load coincides with the peak generation during summer months, compensating for the surge in power demand. With solar power, airports can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute towards the achievement of the country’s clean energy targets. A short gestation period, limited infrastructure requirement and a payback period of only four to five years are some of the other factors that make a strong case for solar power generation at airports.
Read our spotlight story on solar in the aviation industry here…