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India now has an airport completely powered by solar energy

The Indian city of Cochin is now home to the first international airport that is completely powered by solar energy. Local officials in the Indian state of Kerala marked the opening of a Cochin International Airport's massive solar plant Tuesday.

The massive solar plant providing power to the airport is made up of more than 46,000 solar panels spread across a 45-acre stretch of land near the airport's cargo complex. All in all, the airport will have between 50 and 60 thousand units of electricity a day, thanks to the plant — enough to make the airport "absolutely power neutral," according to a statement.

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The airport first began using solar power in 2013 when it installed solar panels on the roof of one of its terminals. This was followed by another, larger, installation, which eventually lead to the current 46,000+ panel plant that totals 12 MW of power overall.

The overall impact of the solar project will be significant and long-lasting, officials say. The airport's solar facilities are expected to reduce 300,000 tons of carbon emissions over the next 25 years, according to a statement from the airport's parent company, Cochin International Airport Limited.

While Cochin International claims to be the first all-solar airport, other cities will likely follow suit, particularly in the U.S where solar adoption is increasing. Denver International, for example, now has four solar plants that can produce 3.1 million kilowatt-hours of power a year. And on Thursday the United States Navy announced a deal to buy an Arizona solar farm that will help provide power to 14 military bases in California.

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