Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), hit upon a noble idea of setting up Solar Power plant in airport premises. Idea had a great potential of cost savings as they were paying high energy tariff since airports are categorized under commercial consumers and energy cost becomes close to 20% of operating cost of any large operating airport. Also airports and solar installations have lot of synergies to explore like vast tracts of land available which cannot be commercially used for any other purpose, they are high energy consuming places with consistent loads across the year and round the clock making them ideal mates to marry together.
Challenges were numerous as roof structures on airport premises were not suitable for any solar installations and only area available in the airport premises was on runway side. There has been no precedence of any solar system on runway side in entire Asia Pacific and there were no clear cut guidelines or regulations published by requisite Indian authorities.
With Global experience of installing close to 270MWp of solar power plants on airports Enerparc stepped in take this challenge of installing 2.14MWp of solar power plant on south of runway 11/29. Enerparc not only worked closely with customer but also Indian aviation authorities to roll out this pilot project of installing first solar power plant on airside which also happens to be first large scale installation in entire Asia Pacific. Passenger safety being the first and most important criteria Glare analysis study was conducted to see that there is no effect of installing solar power plant on visibility of pilots during landing and take offs from airport apart from that also for ATC personnel. With success of first phase concept for second phase was planned in which existing system was boosted by another 700KWp and separate system of 5MWp was installed between Taxiway Y and Z taking total installed capacity at DIAL to 7.9MWp.
With first installation on airside in Airport, DIAL became guiding light for the sector to follow its footsteps in installing solar power on commercially running airports in India.