VISAKHAPATNAM: In a step towards reducing carbon footprint and ensure energy conservation, the Visakhapatnam Port will be setting up a 10-MW solar power plant here to become the first solar powered port in India. The first phase of the solar power plant with a capacity of 2-MW will be commissioned by Jan 15 and the second phase with 8-MW capacity will be completed by March 20, 2016.
The proposed solar power plant will come up on about 50-acre land of the Port adjacent to the airport. In two years, the plant will be expanded to 15 MW. “The 10-MW solar power plant will not only serve the entire power requirements of the port amounting to about 150 lakh units per annum, but also enable the port to divert the surplus power to the State grid,” explained VPT chairman MT Krishna Babu. An MoU was signed by the VPT chairman and Jakson Engineers Limited general manager C Pradeep Kumar for execution of the project.
The port has appointed Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as consultant for execution of the project. After inviting tenders, Noida-based Jakson Engineer Limited has emerged as top bidder for the project which will be executed at a cost of `57.5 crore in addition to another `2.5 crore towards annual maintenance charges for seven years. Though the authorities initially planned to establish the plant in Kurnool or Anantapur, the plans were dropped after conducting simulation studies and discovering that the solar insulation in Vizag was similar.
“Proper studies have been conducted and simulations were made to address our concerns like salinity, industrial pollution, cyclone effect and solar insulation among others,” Krishna Babu said. The VPT is expecting to recover its investment in terms of power savings over a period of five years. Further, the investments in the solar power plant would also ensure tax benefits.
EPDCL CMD R Mutyala Raju said that the solar power plant would be the biggest in the entire EPDCL area of over five districts. The distribution company would assist the VPT in connecting the solar power plant to the state grid to evacuate surplus power.
VPT is taking proactive measures for energy conservation as a part of developing the Vizag port into a green port. Following are the important steps being taken in phases:
A 100-KW rooftop solar project has been set up by the VPT with the help of the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) to power the energy requirements of its Golden Jubilee Hospital. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is likely to commission the facility in November.
Another 500-KW rooftop solar project will be taken up at VPT Sports Complex. The SECI is expected to submit a detailed project report in two days.
The VPT proposes to replace a whopping 2,000 of its 2,800 solar vapour streetlights with LED lights in its port and residential areas. A MoU would be signed with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) next week which would save about 13 lakh units of 23 lakh units power consumed every year.
Four high mast sodium vapour lights at crucial areas of the port also will be replaced with LED lights on a pilot basis for energy conservation. If succeeded, all these high mast lights will be replaced.