15 MW Grid-Connected Solar Project Commissioned for Kolkata International Airport

A 15 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) project was inaugurated on December 5, 2017, by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju at the premises of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata, West Bengal under the Airports Authority of India (AAI) initiative.

Per Mercom research, the 15 MW grid-connected solar project was tendered in 2015. Sterling & Wilson was the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, and Waaree Energies 330 Watt solar modules were utilized in project development.

While inaugurating the solar project Raju said, “With the commissioning of 15 MW power generation here, total generating capacity from this clean energy route has gone up to 90 MW at the AAI-operated airports.” According to Raju, total solar power generation in private airports currently stands at 45 MW.

According to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report, AAI has entered into an agreement with private power utility CESC (DISCOM) for supplying excess power generated from this project to the grid. The AAI has obtained permission from the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission for it.

Kolkata airport director Atul Dikshit said the gestation period of the project, built at ₹900 million (~$13.9 million), was six years after which revenue would accrue to the AAI. The PTI also reported, S Raheja, Member (Planning) AAI, said, “Once the solar plant becomes operational, we will be able to cut down on carbon emission and at the same time do some cost-cutting. The solar power project will be able to meet the power requirement of the terminal building at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here, which is around 10-11 MW a day.”

This is not the first solar installation at the NSCBI Airport. Prior to installation of this 15 MW ground-mounted project, Vikram Solar had commissioned a 2 MW rooftop solar project.

At the inauguration Raju also said, “The target is to achieve 200 MW of solar capacity in five to six years across AAI-owned airports in India.”

Mercom previously reported, CIAL Infrastructures Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cochin International Airport Ltd., has issued tenders to develop a total of 9.9 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar PV projects.

Image credit: Vikram Solar

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.