To promote clean and green energy and cut down on the use of conventional means of energy, the Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) will soon install solar power panels on the rooftops of as many as 54 government buildings in Steel City.

The civic body has signed an agreement with Koel Fresh Pvt Ltd (KFPL), agriculture and clean-tech energy start-up incubated at the National Institute of Technology-Rourkela (NIT-R), for promotion and installation of rooftop solar plants at households and private buildings in the city.

In the future, the panels would also be installed on private buildings in the city where plans are afoot to set up a 30 MW open space solar power park. While the solar panels will be installed on rooftops of 14 government buildings including offices, health institutions, schools and hostels on a pilot basis, the rest will be covered subsequently.

RMC commissioner Dibyajyoti Parida said the ‘Solarisation Rourkela’ initiative is one of the flagship programmes to promote clean energy and fight severe climate change. Under the initiative, the civic body would reach out to citizens and educate them on the benefits of the solar photovoltaic system to facilitate its adoption. The initiative is also intended to boost the local economy and create employment opportunities.

Under the ‘Solarisation Rourkela’ initiative private households, institutions, commercial establishments and MSMEs would be convinced and encouraged to adopt solar power, said Asutosh Nayak, CEO of KFPL.

“A survey is underway and in the first phase, about 5,000 private buildings would be covered. Adoption of clean energy is the only solution to fight climate change,” said Nayak, a postgraduate from the University of Flensburg, Germany in Renewable Energy and alumnus of NIT-R.

Under the net metering mechanism, domestic or commercial users generating their own electricity using solar panels or photovoltaic systems would be able to export surplus energy back to the grid and get their energy bills adjusted.

The benchmark price for a 1-kilowatt solar energy unit is around Rs 60,000. Odisha’s only standard testing laboratory for solar meters is located in Bhubaneswar and it is seen as a big reason for the delay in implementation of the initiative in the city.

The RSCL has also planned to install solar streetlights at 32 surveyed slums on a pilot basis. It would also install a solar park of 30 MW capacity by utilizing open spaces in the city. 

Source: The New Indian Express