MIS4596 – Tony Messina – Section 003 – Spring 2016

World’s First Solar-Powered Airport Pays $0 for Electricity

The Cochin International Airport located in Cochin, India became the world’s first fully solar-powered airport last year in August. The idea to use solar panels started about three years ago when they airport started placing panels on the roofs of the terminals and then on and around the hangars. The airport managers were tired of expensive bills and had the goal to be completely independent of the electricity grid. The cost of the solar panel project was approximately 620 million rupees with is equivalent to $9.3 million USD with the plan to start saving money in less than six years. After the word got out about Cochin International Airports project to cut electric costs, other large airports started planning and implementing solar panels around their own airports to save a lot of money on electricity. I think that many airports will begin adding large amounts of solar panels around the airports and in the long-term there will be a lot of money saved that could be used elsewhere to help the airport.

Questions:

Do you think that majority of the airports around the world will be using solar panels in the next 5 years?

What do you think will be the biggest obstacle for airports implementing solar panels?

Source: CNN

5 Responses to World’s First Solar-Powered Airport Pays $0 for Electricity

  • Very interesting post Karan. I currently work for Buckmans Inc. and they recently implemented solar panels at their factory and in their retail stores so I have somewhat of a background with them. Although they are expensive to get and install the tax reduction and efficient power they provide makes them worth the investment. Its awesome to hear that some airports are beginning to use them. I think most airports will eventually switch towards more efficient ways of power but it may take a while. The biggest challenge I think they’ll face is having enough space to fit the panels. Airports are already big enough but if they utilize some of the open space they could possibly fit enough panels.

  • Great idea which is not only environment friendly but also saving money for the airport! Although it is expensive to implement, the long run profit is higher than the cots. The weather is an important factor on implementing the solar panels or not. Since India is always getting sunshine, they can easily do it. But for places like London where is always raining and clouding, they can’t use this plan. Also, even for Cochin airport, they still need backup plans because the weather is uncontrollable factor.

  • I think that the hardest thing for airports to swallow here is the initial price. I believe that it is large enough that these solar panels will not see a large uptake until they become cheaper or more airports use them, even though the benefits are known and they can begin to pay for themselves within six years or so. The environmental benefits are outstanding and the money saved eventually leads me to believe that they will eventually be adopted, but not anytime soon.

  • I really like the idea of airports utilizing solar energy which is more beneficial to the environment as it reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Although the initial investment is quite large, the fact that electric costs will be cut significantly within about six years makes it a worthwhile investment to pursue. I also agree that a lot of airports will be using some form of solar energy within the next few years. I know the Denver International Airport here in the US is one of the few to do so.

  • I don’t think the majority of the airports around the world will be using solar panels in the next five years, particularly in the United States. A major reason for this is that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the potential impact on flight safety that the glare from solar panels could pose. For instance, in the article, it was mentioned that the Cochin International Airport put solar panels on the roofs of their terminals and hangars. It is plausible that the glare from these solar panels could be quite significant. Consequently, it seems likely that US airports will wait for the FAA’s ruling on solar panel safety standards. Additionally, switching to solar energy is a major change that, like most major changes, executive management teams may not be quick to enact.

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