Delhi airport becomes India’s first 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 needs from June 1, making it India’s first airport to run entirely on a combination of these forms of green energy, operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said.

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

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

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.

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 a stakeholder collaboration.

This transition to renewable energy is expected to help the airport in reducing energy emissions by 2 lakh tonne of carbon dioxide per year, the operator said. The airport had announced last year in November of its aim to become a Net Zero Carbon Emission airport by the year 2030.

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 allows aircrafts in taxiing without requiring them to turn on their engines, thus further reducing carbon emissions, while this year for World Environment Day, it announced 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.