Agartala to House North East’s First Solar-Powered Airport

The 2 MW solar project is provided with a net metering facility

December 4, 2020


The Tripura Electricity Regulatory Commission (TERC) has approved a 2 MW solar project at the newly constructed terminal at Agartala’s Maharaj Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport. The terminal will become operational in a few months and would be the first solar-powered airport in India’s North East.

In a letter written to the MBB Airport Director, the Commission said that it received a technical scrutiny report from the North Eastern Regional Power Committee (NERPC), which is responsible for grid disciplinary mechanism. Their report states that there will be no technical disturbance in grid stability.

The Commission also observed that Tripura has low radiation and fewer sunny days than other Indian states. However, it expects the MBB Airport to comply with all technical requirements and adhere to all regulatory compliances.

The Commission further observed that cheap solar power could replace fossil fuel power, and most Indian airports have received permission to operate on 100% renewable energy- the Cochin Airport is 100% solar powered.

MBB Airport Director, Rajiv Gupta, told the UNI that the new terminal would require a little over 2 MW of power- 1 MW to operate the airport during the daytime. The excess energy generated through the day will be returned to the grid after sunset when the airport returns to conventional power. The Commission is considering it as a special case and allowing net metering facility for the 2 MW solar project.

Airports across the country have jumped on the solar power bandwagon and have commissioned projects on their premises, thanks to the push by the Airports Authority of India. Solar projects have already been installed at airports of cities like Bengaluru, Cochin, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Chennai, Trichy, Calicut, Vijayawada, and Tirupati.

In December 2019, Vikram Solar had announced the commissioning of new solar projects at three airports for the Airports Authority of India. The three projects have been installed at Dibrugarh in Assam, Gaya in Bihar, and Gondia in Maharashtra. Together, these three projects have a cumulative capacity of 1,165 kW.and each of them will generate 300,000 kWh annually.

Previously, the Airports Authority of India announced a tender for a 100 kW grid-connected rooftop solar project to be installed at Pune Airport’s terminal building.  It also issued a tender for 1 MW of grid-connected solar projects at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad in the same month.

Image credit: PP Yoonus, CC BY-SA 3.0

Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.