City colleges betting big on solar plants

Several colleges are increasing their installation capacity of solar power plants to cut down on the electricity bills.

Published: 24th October 2016 02:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2016 03:59 AM   |  A+A-


Workers installing solar panels at M O P Vaishnav College for Women, in the city | Romani Agarwal

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Several colleges are increasing their installation capacity of solar power plants to cut down on the electricity bills. Already, many educational institutions have units generating 20 Kilo Watt (KW) to 100 KW, and now they are going to 500 KW units.

Institutions like Anna University (AU), Madras Medical College (MCC), MOP Vaishnav College, D G Vaishnav College, Vivekananda College, Jerusalem Engineering College, and Mohammad Sathak AJ College of Engineering on OMR are using solar power.

Anna University installed small-capacity solar power generation plant in 2013. Currently, the three colleges affiliated to the AU, including College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) and AC Tech, generate 34 KW daily. The CEG alone generates 20 KW bringing down the combined electricity bill by Rs 30,000 per month in these institutions, said R Velraj, director, Institute of Energy Studies.

Now, the AU took a decision to go for bigger solar power plants. The university is going to install large power plants in the College of Engineering, Guindy, which will generate 500 KW solar power. “While large solar power plant will be installed in CEG, Rs 1 crore is allotted for solar streetlight, sanctioned by the MHRD, of which half will be installed in CEG and half in MIT,” he said.

He also added that under Tamil Nadu one-term scheme, 100 KW solar installation will be done in MIT and 150 KW in AC Tech. Under the same scheme 18 colleges under Anna University will have 50 KW solar power plant, which has been sanctioned by the government.

Likewise, Madras Christian College is also planning to have a 500-KW solar power plant. Currently, it has a 100 KW roof-top solar power unit, said Principal R W Alexander Jesudasan.

“We want to meet our 50 per cent of power consumption through solar,” said Jesudasan.
In MOP Vaishnav College, the solar power was installed in 2012, and for the MBA wing, the college is getting new installation.

“For the UG programme for three floors, we generate about 20 KW solar power. We want general solar power for six classrooms in the MBA department,” said principal Lalitha Balakrishnan.

J Raghu, proprietor, Micro Enterprise, a solar power installation company and who has been installing in several colleges, said, “It costs around Rs 16 to Rs 17 lakh for each college. Even though the rule says six per cent of the total power consumed by high tension consumers should be generated from solar power, it is not being adhered to.”

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