Delhi airport international becomes India’s 1st to run entirely on hydro and solar energy

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport has switched to hydro and solar power for its consumption requirements from June 1, making it India’s first airport to run completely on a combination of these forms of green energy, operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) told on Wednesday.

Delhi International Airport Limited

In 2015, the Cochin International Airport in Kerala became the 1st airport in the world to run only using solar energy. DIAL says while they are operating a combination of hydro and solar power, a major chunk of this is now hydro-dependent. This is part of the airport’s plan to achieve the ‘Net Zero Carbon Emissions Airport’ target by the year 2030, DIAL told.

Delhi International Airport

Since June 1, around 6 percent of the airport’s electricity need is being met from on-site solar power plants, while the remaining 94 percent of energy is coming from a hydropower plant, it told.

“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 deal (PPA) with a Himachal Pradesh-based hydropower producing company for the supply of hydroelectricity to the airport until 2036,” told a DIAL spokesperson.

The Delhi airport has a 7.84 MW solar power plant on the airside, while it added another 5.3 MW rooftop solar power plant at the cargo terminal recently as part of stakeholder collaboration.

This transition to renewable energy is expected to support the airport in reducing energy emissions by two lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the operator told. The airport had announced last year in November of its aim to become a Net Zero Carbon Emission airport by the year 2030.

Delhi Airport a Net Zero Carbon Emission airport by 2030

“Delhi international airport has been operating 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 international target of 2050. To achieve this, Delhi international airport adopted a green transportation program recently and now earned another milestone in the green energy program for IGI airport. Delhi airport has been using solar power for a long period and it 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,” told CEO Video Kumar Jaipuriar.

Delhi International Airport Limited

The other green initiatives at the airport include green buildings, green transportation measures such as electric vehicles, improving operational efficiency to reduce emissions, and management of greenhouse gases (GHG) as part of the Airport Council International’s (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation.

In 2020, the Delhi airport also became the first in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve ‘Level 4+’ under ACI’s airport carbon accreditation program.

In 2019, DIAL had introduced TaxiBots – a vehicle that permits aircraft in taxiing without demanding them to turn on their engines, thus further reducing carbon emissions, while this year for World Environment Day, it declared that it will be adding 62 electric vehicles to its fleet of vehicles in the next three to four months, thus phasing out all its diesel and petrol vehicles.

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