Five State airports to be powered by solar energy

| | Ranchi
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Five State airports to be powered by solar energy

Friday, 27 August 2021 | PNS | Ranchi

The Birsa Munda airport in Ranchi and four other upcoming airports in the State will be powered by solar energy as a part of a green initiative by the Government, officials from Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) said on Thursday, adding that a tender for this project has been floated.

Each of the five airports, equipped with solar panels will produce 600 KiloWatt of power every day once the project is complete, said JREDA Director KK Verma, claiming that the initiative will not only make the airports self-sufficient in energy production, but also light up a few residential areas with solar power.

“We have floated a tender for the project and the last date for bidding is September 1. Besides Ranchi, airports in Dumka, Deoghar, Bokaro and Giridih will be covered under the project,” said Verma.

While the Birsa Munda Airport is the only fully-operational airport in Jharkhand at present, some of the remaining four airports in the list are likely to start operations within a year. Jharkhand's largest trade body, the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI), has been pressing for speedy work at these airports, which are likely to boost trade once operational.

The government has allocated a fund of Rs.20 crore for the project with a target of completing it in six months, JREDA officials said. The initiative was important for Jharkhand as most of the airports in the state were at a developing stage and incorporating eco-friendly changes at this stage would benefit in the longer run, an official from the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi said.

The Birsa Munda Airport is also likely to undergo major expansion in the days to come and the use of renewable energy will benefit the airport during this process, an official from the Ranchi airport said. The State government has approved the expansion plan of the Ranchi airport and signed an MoU with the AAI for expanding the airport over an area of more than 300 acres. Currently, Ranchi airport has about 20 flights connecting the state to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune and a few other cities.

Many airports in other states have relied on solar energy in the past couple of years in an effort to ensure eco-friendly development. The Puducherry Airport in Tamil Nadu became the first completely solar-powered airport under the Airport Authority of India (AAI) back in 2020. Besides, the Cochin International Airport in Kerala, run in a public-private partnership mode, is claimed to be the first solar-powered airport in the world.

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