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Does Open Access make sense in the upcoming Bangalore’s Solar Airport

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Bangalore Airport to go Solar Next

I have been writing a lot about the Indian airports these days. Can’t help it, since a lot of solar activity is happening here these days. The Indian airports are all set to run on solar power. While Chennai, Madurai, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Indore, Raipur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati are already running/ planning to run on solar power, Cochin Airport was the first airport in India to run completely on solar power. Now Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport is planning to install a solar plant. This 14.6 MW solar plant is expected to displace 17,000 tons of carbon dioxide and also account for 40% of the total electricity requirement of the airport.

Also read With Airports running on Solar Power, could airfares decline in India

“Renewable energy has huge environmental benefits and BIAL will continue to invest in accelerating its development. As part of its green strategy, BIAL embarked on adopting renewable energy for the airport operations in early 2015. These projects have been tendered out and the bids are currently under evaluation and are expected to be awarded shortly. The projects are expected to be completed in early 2016,” airport authorities said in an email.

Source: Livemint

Airports are one of the busiest places today, having huge requirement for power. Not only are their power needs very high, they are also a big source of Solar-powered-airportemission/ air pollution. Airports also have large area of land and open rooftop spaces available which allows easy installation of solar panels. Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport has set up a solar beauty having ground-mounted and rooftops systems, plus parking areas displaying solar panels. Airports are visited by one and all from different countries, and they putting up panels sets an example for everyone to behold.

Supply of Solar Power through Open Access

The airport sought proposals for producing and supplying ~20 million kWh of solar power annually through open access. The Bangalore airport is spread across an impressive 3000 acres of land. It should be noted here that the Cochin airport is just 1300 acres in land housing 12 MW of solar power, while Bangalore International Airport is planning a 14.6 MW solar plant.

“We didn’t go for open access route because it requires a large extent of land and there is a shortage of suppliers and the cost is high. But it has a positive side because instead of capital expenditure, they will have to provide only revenue expenditure. How they are going to do it, we will have to wait and see,” said Nair.

Source: Livemint

While open access is a more scalable and cheaper option, it has its own challenges like requirement of huge land area, availability of suppliers and grid usage cost. It is a niche but interesting area developing in the Indian solar market. Commonly seen in industrial installations, they can be beneficial at locations where power tariffs are high and grid is robust. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh are some of the states using open access policies, since the state regulations are most favourable here. Read more about Karnataka Rooftop Policy.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Radhakrishnan Mundoli

    Having headed the team which put up the Kulampur airport, I can say it is one of the best.
    However almost all airports use their rooftops for solar installation since the land they have is high security area.
    Open access is not picking up the way expected because of uncertainties in govt policy. Open access charges is a state subject and the states keep on changing the policy. No worthwhile investor is prepared to invest into these open access model projects due to the above reason. Time that this changed.

  2. Sneha Shah

    Very rightly said Radhakrishnanji. Thank you for your comment!