Delhi Airport: India's First to Operate Entirely on Hydro and Solar Energy

Published on: 23 June 2022
by KnowESG

The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi has become India's first airport to run entirely on a combination of hydropower and solar power, according to the operator of the airport, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), who announced it on Wednesday.

The Cochin International Airport in Kerala, which opened in 2015, is notable for being the first airport in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy.

According to DIAL, even though they are using a combination of hydro and solar electricity, a significant portion of this is now dependent on hydropower. It is one of the steps the airport plans to take to meet its ambition of being a "Net Zero Carbon Emissions Airport" by the year 2030.

According to the statement, the airport's electricity needs have been satisfied by on-site solar power plants for around six per cent of the time since June 1. The remaining ninety-four per cent of the airport's energy comes from a hydroelectric plant.

“The solar plants are on the airside and roofs of the cargo terminals of the IGI airport. For hydropower, DIAL has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with a Himachal Pradesh-based hydropower producing company for the supply of hydroelectricity to the airport until 2036,” said a DIAL spokesperson.

The Delhi airport has a 7.84 MW solar power plant on the airside, and lately, as part of a stakeholder engagement, it has constructed an additional 5.3 MW rooftop solar power plant at the cargo terminal.

According to the operator, switching to renewable energy should enable the airport to cut its annual energy emissions by 2 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide. The airport declared its intention to become a Net Zero Carbon Emission Airport by 2030.

CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar said:

"DIAL has been working relentlessly towards environmental sustainability and has set its target to make Delhi Airport a Net Zero Carbon Emission airport by 2030, way ahead of the global target of 2050. To achieve this, DIAL adopted a green transportation programme recently and has now achieved another milestone in the green energy programme for IGI airport. Delhi airport has been using solar power for a long time and is now fulfilling its major electricity needs from a hydropower plant. Running Delhi airport completely on renewable sources of energy is indeed a major milestone achieved by DIAL."

Green buildings, green transportation options like electric cars, increasing operational effectiveness to cut emissions, and management of greenhouse gases (GHG) as part of the Airport Council International's (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation are some of the additional green initiatives at the airport.

The Delhi airport achieved "Level 4+" under ACI's airport carbon accreditation scheme in 2020, making it the first in the Asia-Pacific region.

This year, on World Environment Day, DIAL announced that it would be adding 62 electric vehicles to its fleet in the next three to four months, phasing out all of its diesel and petrol vehicles. In 2019, DIAL introduced TaxiBots, which allow aircraft to taxi without having to turn on their engines, further reducing carbon emissions.

Source: Hindustan Times

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