Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity. Solar Energy techniques came to light in 2006 and it is now gradually reaching out to all parts of the world. Since solar panels are a one-time investment with a guaranteed life of 25 years, ‘solar energy’ could make a huge difference in people’s lives in the times to come.
However, it seems that Solar power generation has been the main energy source in Kochi with many big organizations installing solar plants. It has been said that Kochi Metro, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), Government Medical College, Ernakulam are some of the main institutions switching over to solar energy.
Also, a majority of the 10,000 applicants from Kochi have registered with the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) Soura rooftop solar power plant project.
The medical college is all geared up to commission a 153KW solar power plant. “The plant will cater to 10% of our power requirement. The cost of the project is around Rs 1 crore,” said Dr V K Sreekala, principal.
“We are planning to install solar plants on the rooftop of all new buildings, which are being constructed. The construction of several buildings, including a 5.5 lakh sq ft super speciality block, is going on. Solar panels can be erected on all these buildings. Then, the entire power requirement can be met by solar energy,” Sreekala said.
As per KSEB officials, registrations as part of the Soura project is underway. “So far, we have received more than 10,000 registrations from across the state. Of these, a huge majority is from Kochi,” said Joseph V K, chief engineer in charge of renewable energy.
“Many big consumers, especially central government institutions like the Food Corporation of India and Railways, inquired about the Soura project,” he said.
“In Kochi, the Indian Oil Corporation has held talks with us for installing a 4MW project with our assistance. Later, they decided to do it on their own,” Joseph said.
“Generation of solar energy has increased significantly. As most of the solar panels erected by private firms or individuals are yet to be connected to the KSEB grid, we don’t have the exact figure regarding power generation,” he said. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd had earlier commissioned a 2,670kWp (kilowatt during peak hour) project.
“We entered into agreement with a private firm for installation and maintenance of the solar panels. It made the capital investment and would also take care of the maintenance. We will have to purchase power from them at a rate which is lower than that of the KSEB,” an official with KMRL said.
“In the second phase, we will be erecting land-mount solar panels in the vacant land in Muttom depot. It will help generate 2,700kWp more,” he said.
(Originally published by The Times Of India)