The Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to set up a rooftop solar power project at 5 important premises across the city to harness alternate energy sources. The civic body will likely generate around 232 kW (AC) energy annually. All the five premises are located in Panvel city.
A number of studies indicated the MMR has a huge potential to generate solar energy. As per the Indian Institute Technology (IIT) Bombay report in 2017, Mumbai alone had the potential to generate over 1700 MW of solar energy then. Even other cities like Thane, Navi Mumbai and Panvel have a lot of potential to tap alternate energy sources.
In 2017, the B ward of BMC had set up a solar project at a cost of Rs 18 lakh and started saving around Rs 4.5 lakh annually. This was followed by other civic wards in Mumbai.
As per the plan, the solar power generated from PMC’s project will be used at the same premises and the surplus power will be shared to MSEDCL through connecting with the Grid.
Bhagwan Keshbhat, founder of Waatavaran Foundation, an NGO working on the environment says that this is a great step by the corporation. “The move towards eco-friendly energy will convey a good message among masses. In fact, the civic body can encourage residents to use their rooftop for solar power generation,” said Keshbhat.
According to Keshbhat, in 2012-13, while working on a project, he came to know that power demand in 2013 in the state was around 13,000 MW. Now, the demand has reached 27,000 MW. “There is no option but to tap alternate sources of energy,” said Keshbhat. In addition, most power plants are coal-based and every unit of electricity generated through these plants adds pollution to the environment.
At present, the PMC has floated a tender to appoint a contractor for design, supply, installation, commissioning and comprehensive operation and maintenance of Grid connected Solar plant. The project is likely to become operational in one year after awarding the contract.
According to senior civic officials, they have conducted a feasibility study for setting up a solar power project at its 22 electrical consumption points or locations. Of the studied 22 locations, mostly premises, the corporation now intends to commission solar power plants at 5 locations.
The five locations or premises where the solar power plant will be set up Adya Krantiveer Vasudev Balwant Phadke Auditorium, Fire office building, Dr. Ambedkar Bhawan, STP Plant, and Vilasrao Deshmukh shopping complex under the PMC jurisdiction. “Though the civic body had conducted a feasibility study of 22 locations, 5 locations have been chosen as a pilot project,” said an official from the Engineering Department. He added that the civic body is trying to tap renewable energy to cut costs on electricity bills.