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Source: Facebook/Cochin International Airport Limited

Inside The World's First Solar-Powered Airport

By Kristin Hunt

More than 1,000 flights depart out of Cochin International Airport each week. The travel hub is the seventh busiest airport in India, handling more than 10 million passengers every year. Located in the southwestern coastal state of Kerala, it hosts 27 airlines and some three dozen shops and restaurants — and the whole thing runs on solar energy.

Cochin International became the world’s first solar-powered airport in 2015, when it transformed a patch of land previously reserved for cargo handling into a 12-megawatt solar plant. This new energy source provides all the power the airport needs, and even generates surplus for the state grid, according to the BBC.

Cochin International has earned lots of press and distinction for its major investment in renewable power. Most recently, the UN gave the travel center its highest environmental honor: a Champion of the Earth award, specifically in entrepreneurial vision. But the solar switch wasn’t just good for the planet — it was good for business, too.