India officially has the first completely solar-powered airport

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Can India's Solar Airport Make a Dent in the Smog?


India's Cochin International Airport is the fourth largest in the world, and the airport just took a big step towards making a difference.

With India as one of the world's three biggest polluters, the airport -- in the southern city of Kochi -- announced on Tuesday that it is now "absolutely energy neutral" and receiving funding from the Indian government through a public-private partnership.

A 12-megawatt solar-powered system supports the airport's energy usage, with more than 46,000 panels installed on the 50-acre site. Ultimately, this environmentally conscious system generates up to 60,000 units of electricity per day.

In total, the project took about six months to build, and it cost $10 million.

Ultimately, India's broader goal is to derive 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2022.

See photos of Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane:
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Solar Impulse 2: Trip around the world
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India officially has the first completely solar-powered airport
Andre Borschberg of Switzerland, a pilot of the Solar Impulse 2 speaks to journalists prior to board his plane at the Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 24, 2015. Mission controllers cancelled the planned take-off of the Solar Impulse 2 from Nagoya in central Japan early Wednesday because of weather problems in the Pacific Ocean. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, getting ready to take off from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Andre Borschberg of Switzerland waves while boarding his Solar Impulse 2 prior to his departure for Hawaii at the Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, pilot Andre Borschberg during the final preparation of Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Pilot Andre Borschberg of Switzerland (C, top), sits aboard Solar Impulse 2, as ground crew pushes the solar plane prior to taking off for Hawaii, at Nagoya's airport early June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, getting ready to take off from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Yasemin and Andre Borschberg prior to the take off of Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane with pilot Borschberg is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
NAGOYA, JAPAN - JUNE 29: In this handout image provided by Global Newsroom, Solar Impulse 2, a solar power plane, getting ready to take off from Nagoya Komaki airport tonight at 3:03 am on June 29, 2015. The plane is en route to Hawaii after spending an unscheduled four-week stopover due to bad weather. The 5-day flight to Hawaii will be the eighth and longest of the pioneering plane's 35,000-kilometer journey. (Photo by Jean Revillard/SI2/Global Newsroom via Getty Images)
Pilot Andre Borschberg of Switzerland (R, top), sits aboard Solar Impulse 2, as ground crew pushes the solar plane prior to taking off for Hawaii, at Nagoya's airport early June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Andre Borschberg of Switzerland (4th R) poses next to the Japanese and the Swiss national flags while boarding his Solar Impulse 2 prior to his departure for Hawaii at the Nagoya airport in Nagoya on June 24, 2015. The solar plane that has been trapped in Japan for three weeks will take off early June 24, the team confirmed, on the most challenging leg of an attempt to circumnavigate the world without using fuel. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft takes off from the Nagoya airport in Aichi prefecture, central Japan on June 29, 2015 for a flight over the Pacific Ocean. Solar Impulse 2 has 17,000 solar cells and on-board rechargeable batteries. Its top speed is 140 kilometres an hour. The journey to Hawaii is 7,900 kilometers and is expected to last at least five days and five nights. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT (Photo credit should read JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)
Swiss pilots Andre Borschberg (L) and Bertrand Piccard (R) of Solar Impulse 2, the world's only solar-powered aircraft, react upon their arrival at Mandalay international airport on March 19, 2015. Solar Impulse 2 took off from the Indian holy city of Varanasi for Myanmar, its fourth flight after embarking on a landmark journey to circumnavigate the globe powered solely by the sun. (Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)
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