Kerala: Cochin Airport ventures into hydropower production

Thiruvananthapuram: The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) will be opening a hydropower plant at Arippara near Kozhikode and according to an estimate, it will generate 14 million units. Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the plant on November 6. The power from the plant will be fed to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) grid from November first week.

CIAL is considered the world’s first green airport as it is fully powered by solar energy.

The 4.5MW power plant was awarded to the CIAL by the Kerala state electricity board as per the Kerala small hydropower policy under the Built- Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) for a lease period of 30 years.

An overflow type of weir (dam) is constructed across the Iruvazhinji river, which diverts the water to an intake pool from where the intake structure and connected water conductor system starts. A surge tank was constructed to moderate the water flow during load acceptance and load rejection time.

CIAL completed the project in September 2021 and the trial run started in October and the total project cost is Rs 52 crore. The power plant is expected to generate 1.08 lakh units of power a day during peak flow days and will be operational for a minimum of 130 days a year.

Managing Director of CIAL, S. Suhas in a statement said that the project would lead to more such hydroelectric projects in the state which has 44 rivers and numerous streams. He said that the potential of renewable energy is immense and that if proper technological imagination is used, joint ventures could be set up to harness the light of the sun, the power of the wind, and the strength of the rushing streams and to be more productive in using energy.

Suhas said that the project at Arippara works on limited storage of water and that no adverse effect is caused to the environment.

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