GMR going green

Published by Y V Phani Raj on January 13, 2016 00:12:54 AM

Will invest Rs 150 cr on 30 MW solar plants for its airport in next 2-3 years

GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL) has commissioned a 5 MW Solar Power Plant for its captive consumption at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad. And plans to double it next year and achieve a total of 30 MW within next three years. The company is investing at a rate of Rs 5 crore per MW.

Situated close to the airport access road, the 5 MW solar power plant has started generating around 25000 units/day of pollution free energy and meeting the airport’s peak power demand during day-time. The power plant has been set up four months time.

Commenting on this green development, SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL said, “Hyderabad Airport, like other group companies of GMR, is committed towards generating renewable energy. As a part of this commitment, we have commissioned a 5 MW captive Solar Power Plant. This is also in alignment with the government’s Solar vision and the recently announced initiative by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to have solar-powered airports. We also have plans to go for another 7MW solar power plant as part of our Energy Neutral objective.”

Kishore said, “We have established 7 MW solar power plant in Delhi airport and adding another 5MW soon. GMR Group has already set up a 25MW solar plant at Charanka, Patan district of Gujarat. We are keenly exploring the rooftop opportunities too and should see progress next year to meet the extended terminal’s power requirements. The idea is to have solar power generation for all the upcoming buildings.

The 5MW solar power plant has over 16,000 modules of solar panels, each having a fixed tilt for maximum sun exposure. These modules are based on Poly Crystalline technology, which is among the most efficient technology available currently. The plant is equipped with an advanced SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, through which remote monitoring is carried out. This is a grid connected system for the captive use of the airport.

The green energy produced by this 5 MW solar plant, is equivalent to meeting daily electricity requirement for about 4,800 homes. The solar plant has also eliminated about 20 metric tonne of carbon emissions every day (about 7,100 metric tonne in a year). The energy, thus produced, also translates into conservation of natural resources by avoiding consumption of 12 tonne of coal and 76,800 litre of water per day when compared to thermal electricity production.

Emphasising the merits of solar plants, Kishore explained, “Tariff matches the conventional form of power generation. There is no power escalation in solar power for almost over 10 years unlike other forms of power generation. The Hyderabad airport currently spends about Rs 3.5 crore every month.”

Through the airport’s expansion plan, it is gearing up to handle 20 million passengers. The airport is witnessing year-on-year growth in passenger numbers and pharmaceuticals, defence are contributing to the airport’s cargo growth at present and future focus will be on perishables and food segments. Logistics will play a crucial role as the airport infrastructure is improved and expanded in the future years, he added.