IGIA becomes India’s first hydro and solar powered airport

The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi, starting June, has become India’s first and only airport to be powered by hydro and solar energy, taking another step towards becoming Net Zero Carbon Emission Airport by 2030. By switching to renewable sources for its energy needs, the IGIA has started transgressing towards considerably lower energy emissions. The airport is operated and managed by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL) led consortium.

While roughly 6% of IGIA’s electricity requirement is met from the onsite solar power plants installed on the airside and roofs of cargo terminals, the remaining 94% demand is met from the hydropower plant. This move will help IGIA in the reduction of indirect energy emissions whopping 200,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

DIAL has a 7.84 MW solar power plant on the airside, whereas, as part of stakeholder collaboration, operators of the cargo terminals at IGIA have added another 5.3 MW rooftop solar power plant. DIAL has also 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.

DIAL 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, 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)

Apart from using solar and hydro power for its energy requirements, IGIA has underwent other transformations as well, in respect to achieving better sustainability. They have had Taxibots introduced in 2019, which help airlines to reduce the fuel consumption of aircrafts during taxiing, and correspondingly reduction of carbon emissions. Taxibots are semi-robotic hybrid special purpose vehicles used for air craft movement, thereby, assisting aircrafts and saving many lakh litres of ATF burnt during taxiing.

Another change is doing away with the fuel based vehicles completely, though in a phased manner, and introducing a new swanky fleet of electric vehicles. DIAL has also adopted the initiative to become a “single-use plastic-free airport”, and got certified by a third-party agency.

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