SDMC signs solar power agreement

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With the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) launching its clean energy initiative on Monday — schools, offices, hospitals, community centres and other buildings will soon be equipped with solar panels.

The SDMC signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to install solar panels on its buildings and vacant land to generate 20MW of solar power.

The project is expected to cost the SDMC about Rs.100 crore, but a 25 per cent subsidy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will bring down the expenditure.

Vacant land, buildings

As per the agreement, signed between SDMC chief engineer Firoz Ahmed and SECI managing director Dr. Ashwini Kumar, both parties will first identify locations for the project.

About 400 buildings, which will have 10MW of installed capacity, will be taken up in the first phase of the project.

Unused land owned by the SDMC would be used to install another 10MW of solar power generation capacity in the second round of the project.

The SECI will help the SDMC in planning, designing, installing and operating the grid that will be connected to the rooftop solar plants. SDMC Mayor Shyam Sharma said the project will help the civic body become self-reliant and even generate revenue by selling the excess power. For now, the SDMC spends Rs.110 crore a year on its electricity bill. The solar energy project will lead to the production of three crore units of power a year and prevent the emission of 40,000 tonnes of carbon, said an SDMC spokesperson.

The Commissioner of SDMC, Dr. Puneet Kumar Goel, said the agreement is for two years but that the corporation will be able to save money on power bills for years to come and generate additional revenue to offset the initial cost. The project is expected to last for 25 years.