CIAL to commission its 1st hydropower project

The CIAL, the country’s first fully solar-powered airport, said it is expecting an annual power generation of 14 million units through the plant, which will be constructed at Arippara near Kozhikode, and it will be handed to the state electricity board grid in November first week.
The Coachin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) started the construction work of a weir across the Iruvazhinji River. (CIAL)
The Coachin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) started the construction work of a weir across the Iruvazhinji River. (CIAL)
Published on Oct 25, 2021 12:14 AM IST
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By, Thiruvananthapuram

Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) is venturing into hydropower production, and its first plant will be commissioned by Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Kozhikode district on November 6, the authorities said on Sunday.

The CIAL, the country’s first fully solar-powered airport, said it is expecting an annual power generation of 14 million units through the plant, which will be constructed at Arippara near Kozhikode, and it will be handed to the state electricity board grid in November first week.

“Despite the pandemic threat, we completed the project in the estimated time. We are sure that this will impart further momentum to set up projects across the state, which has 44 rivers and numerous streams,” said the managing director of the CIAL S Suhas.

“The potential of renewable energy is immense. If we use our technological expertise we can set up joint ventures to harness the light of the Sun, the power of the wind, and the strength of rushing streams to create a better future’’ he said.

The project was awarded to the CIAL by the state power department under the build, own, operate & transfer small hydropower policy for 30 years. The project came across the Iruvazhinji river without disturbing the fragile eco-system, the CIAL said in a statement.

The CIAL also said it purchased five acres of land from 32 residents after giving them enough compensation, and the total project cost was 52 crores. The powerhouse will generate around 108,000 units a day during peak flow days, and it is estimated that the plant can be operational in full capacity for 130 days in a year. Annual power generation is estimated at 14 million units, said CIAL adding that it is its largest project after achieving power neutrality in 2015.

Being a river project, it works on limited storage of water without affecting the natural downward flow, causing no adverse effect on the environment, CIAL said.

The CIAL received the UN’s prestigious Champion of the Earth Prize for going carbon neutral three years ago. In January this year, it also commissioned the biggest floating solar power plant with a capacity of 452 KWh. The installed capacity of the world’s first airport fully powered by solar energy now stands at 40 MWp, producing 160,000 units a day against its requirement of 130,000 units.

It also introduced cost-effective high-density polyethene floats using French technology, upon which 1300 photovoltaic panels were mounted. These panels were laid over two artificial lakes located in the 130-acre golf course of the airport, covering one acre and connected to the state’s power grid. One of the fastest-growing airports in 2091-20 the turnover of the CIAL was 655 crores and profile was 204 crores after tax.

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Monday, January 17, 2022