THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When you have an electricity bill that runs into lakhs of rupees, it’s high time you looked sunward. That’s exactly what Kerala Assembly is setting out to do. If things pan out, very soon the Assembly, which sits in a sprawling complex at Palayam, will turn fully ‘solar’ a la the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL).
“We’re looking at the CIAL model,” Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan said on Monday, outlining the plans to go fully solar. The initiative is part of the plans for a ‘Green Assembly,’ he said. “The idea is to use solar energy for all the electrical processes in the Assembly complex. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has agreed to co-operate with the project,” the Speaker said.
Officials at the Legislative Secretariat said KSEB has agreed to assess the electricity usage at the Assembly and recommend ways to bring it down with the help of solar energy. At present, they said, the bi-monthly electricity bill comes to between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 19 lakh. The bill at the MLA hostel is roughly Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. While details are only being worked out, going solar is expected to make a big dent in the bill. With its sprawling campus, the Assembly has ample space for laying solar panels.
CIAL had gone fully solar on August 18, 2015, by switching fully to solar power. Then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had inaugurated a 12 MW solar power plant which featured 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres. According to CIAL, the plant generates between 50,000 and 60,000 units of electricity a day.
Earlier, as part of the ‘green’ initiative, the Kerala Assembly had announced plans to go paperless. In this, the Kerala Assembly is taking a cue from its Himachal Pradesh counterpart which had set a model by establishing the e-Vidhan system.
As part of a government policy, various government offices, including the KSEB, have started using solar power to slash their power bills. KSEB has also set a model by promoting floating solar power units in its hydel dams.