Express News Service
SAMBALPUR: Sambalpur University’s endeavour to harness solar energy has not only helped it cut down on its energy bills but also get much better quality of power supply.
The institution has been drawing power for its administrative building, all hostels, health centre, library and PG council office of the varsity besides 23 mini mast lights on the premises through a 245 KW solar power project which was made functional last year.
Official sources said, earlier, the varsity was footing around Rs 40 lakh towards electricity bill annually. However, in almost a year now, the authorities have noticed a 30 per cent reduction in the energy bill every month after it switched to solar sources. Moreover, the use of solar energy is also ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply on the premises.
The university had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) under the Ministry of Power of Government of India for implementation of the project under its CSR initiative in 2017.
Subsequently, in 2018, the varsity signed MoU with Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) for installation of the project. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) had prepared the project design.
While the varsity got Rs 3.43 crore from the REC for the project, the 245 KW solar power project was installed at a cost of Rs 2.89 crore in the first phase.
The project was inaugurated in July 2020. The solar plates have been installed in the rooftop of the administrative building of the varsity.
Registrar Sitaram Patel said, the varsity definitely has benefitted from the solar project and now planned to set up solar plates over the large tract of land lying unused.
“The plates will be installed on 100 acre land and supply solar generated power to the entire university. We will place the proposal before syndicate of the university for approval in the next meeting. We have also planned to sell surplus energy to GRIDCO from the proposed project,” he said.