KOCHI: The Solar City project, mooted four years back, to install solar energy systems to power streetlights, garden lights, homes, hotels and restaurants, and major administrative offices in the Kochi Corporation will soon get a fresh lease of life when the civic body comes up with an action plan for implementing the project. Implementing agency, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), had now prepared a solar city master plan for the project, which was at a standstill.
Mayor Soumini Jain said a meeting will be held on Thursday at Hotel Grand to bring together all stakeholders and discuss the objectives and work plan of the project which has received the approval of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The total budget is estimated at Rs 696.59 crore which will be invested over the five-year implementation period. The total budget will be shared by the state government, the Corporation, MNRE and private users. Once the project is completed, the Corporation will be able to bring down its annual electricity charges.
“ICLEI South Asia will re-engage with the Corporation to address some of the barriers to the implementation of the solar city master plan," the Mayor said. "The agency has proposed the preparation of a viable action plan which can be implemented with specific timelines. The baseline information in the solar city master plan will also be updated along with the revision of targets and action plan.”
She said a practical implementation strategy will also be prepared and given to the city.
The key focus will be to develop a specific action plan for specific areas in Kochi city to be decided based on the preliminary feasibility. These areas will also serve as a pilot for the implementation of the Solar City Masterplan.“We are now going ahead with its implementation. The Corporation has created a 'solar city cell' to serve as a knowledge hub for renewable energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency measures. However, the progress in terms of implementation of the action plan has been slow. The unavailability of technical and institutional resources was the major challenge for the implementation of the master plan,” said Soumini.