Delhi Airport or Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has become the first airport in India to run entirely on hydro and solar power as it switched to renewable sources for its energy needs.
The move will help in the reduction of energy emissions of 2 lakh tonnes of CO2 per year, a significant step toward achieving a Net Zero Carbon Emission Airport by 2030.
Approximately 6% of the airport’s electricity requirement is met from the onsite solar power plants. These plants are on the airside and the roofs of the Cargo terminals of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
Starting June 1, 2022, Delhi Airport has adopted renewable energy use from the hydropower plant for its demand of the remaining 94%, thus ending its dependency on non-renewable power. This move will help Delhi Airport in the reduction of indirect energy emissions whopping 200,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
For this, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL)-led consortium, which manages and operates the Delhi Airport, has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with a Himachal Pradesh-based hydropower producing company for the supply of hydroelectricity for the airport until 2036.
Besides, DIAL has a 7.84 MW solar power plant on the airside, whereas as part of stakeholder collaboration, operators of the Cargo terminals at Delhi Airport have added another 5.3 MW rooftop solar power plant.
“DIAL has been working 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 global target of 2050. To achieve this, DIAL has adopted a Green Transportation program recently and now we achieved another milestone of the Green Energy Program for IGIA.
Delhi airport has been using solar power for a long time 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.”Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL)
As part of environmental sustainability initiatives, DIAL has introduced TaxiBots at the IGI Airport in 2019. The use of Taxibots by airlines has helped reduce the consumption of fuel by an aircraft during taxiing, and correspondingly reduction of carbon emissions.
As a part of the Green Transportation Program, DIAL has initiated the adoption of the electric vehicle and, phase out all the diesel- and petrol-run in a phased manner.
In the first phase, DIAL will procure 62 EVs that would join the fleet in 3 to 4 months. DIAL has also adopted the initiative to become a “single-use plastic-free airport”, and got certified by a third-party agency.
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.