In the past, Kochi has been the harbinger of clean-technology initiatives, having the world’s first International Airport running exclusively on solar power. Now, the owners of Cochin International Airport (CIAL) has come to the fore through its wholly-owned subsidiary to light up the country’s third entirely solar-powered stadium.
However, this time round it is not a first as there are two stadiums in India – the Brabourne Cricket Stadium Mumbai and the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru that run on solar power. Nonetheless, it is yet another green feather in Kochi’s cap for eco-friendly construction.
A report published in the Week says the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has proposed to install solar panels in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. The plan is part of the Kochi economic city project called green city plans. The project is to be implemented with the help of CIAL Infrastructure Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL). The estimated cost of installing the solar panels on the roof of the stadium is pegged at Rs.4 crores.
According to the proposal, one megawatt of power will be generated by installing solar panels on 30,000 square feet area on the stadium’s rooftop.
The publication quoted GCDA Chairman V Salim as saying that since space was not a constraint for the GCDA to erect the solar panels, it was decided to do so as it had the potential to generate as much as 4 MW of power. However, for starters, the company is planning to generate one MW with a project cost of around Rs 4 crore, to which CIAL Infrastructure has offered all the technical help to materialise the project.
Salim revealed that the stadium consumes around 37,095 units of power every month which cost the GCDA around Rs. 2.6 lakh a month. Once completed, the project would generate nearly 1.2 lakh units a month of which 82,000 units could be transferred to the state electricity board, thus providing a revenue of around the same amount that they were spending currently. This means the project can break-even within six to seven years, he said.
The GCDA aims to complete the project within the next six months with discussions in full swing with CIAL Infrastructure and the tendering process scheduled to begin shortly. At a time when we are reading reports of California fires and Delhi’s pollution, the news comes as a respite knowing that there is a fragment of government which is taking initiatives to save the environment.