IIT-Bombay makes 1MW while the sun shines

he Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, has gone the eco-friendly way and established its own solar power plant. From today, the first phase of the 1MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the institute’s premises will whirr to life, illuminating several departments through a local grid.

The remaining two phases of the plant, which is being manufactured by Mahindra EPC, will be ready by March. With this plant in place, the elite engineering college hopes to generate 13% more power than it consumes now, while cutting down the cost at the same time.

Every month, IIT Bombay consumes approximately 6,500KW of power, which costs the exchequer Rs2 crore. The institute hopes to cut down the bill by Rs50 lakh a month. The plant is expected to produce around 1.45 million units of energy per year, for a minimum period of 20 years.

“The cost of solar energy would be approximately Rs4.1 per unit. The institute currently pays almost double the amount under the commercial tariff,” said Prof Chetan Solanki, department of energy science and engineering, who is also one of the coordinators for the project.

The project, which carries a price tag of Rs8.5 crore, will be the first such on any academic campus in India with such a huge power-generating capacity.

The plant consists of 16 smaller plants, each having a capacity of approximately 50-100KW, spread over the rooftops of 16 academic buildings in the 550-acre campus. More than 4,000 photovoltaic (PV) cells of mono- and multi-crystal silicon modules are incorporated into these plants.

“Installation on the mechanical, electrical, civil, metallurgical engineering and physics departments and the Victor Menezes Convention Centre are already complete, and will start producing 300KW of power from today (Tuesday). That is equivalent to 5 lakh units per year,” said Prof Solanki.

IIT Bombay has already designed and is now commissioning a 1MW solar thermal power plant at Gurgaon in Haryana. The ministry of new and renewable energy has sponsored the project. However, this solar thermal power plant is different from a solar photovoltaic plant. While a photovoltaic plant converts solar energy directly into power, a solar thermal plant heats up the water which is passed through a turbine, which generates power.

India: Govt plans Rs 5,000cr green energy push

TOI , TNN | Jan 24, 2014, 04.36AM IST

NEW DELHI: With traditional power sector hamstrung by fuel shortage and climate change getting top billing at World Economic Forum summit in Davos, the government has lined up a Rs 5,000-crore, or $800 million, push to promote green energy capacity. The ministry of new and renewable energy proposes to raise the authorized share capital of Ireda ( Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency) from Rs 1,000 crore at present to Rs 6,000 crore through this infusion.

The proposal envisages the government pumping in Rs 2,500 crore, while the remaining funds are to be raised through rights issue and initial public offering of Ireda shares. The government funding would be concurrent to the IPO and rights issue. The ministry’s move gains a wider significance in the backdrop of global business leaders and policymakers at the ongoing WEF summit, asking for a shift to cleaner energy sources as the best way to contain global warming and re-energize the global economy.

Agency reports on Thursday quoted UN climate chief Christiana Figueres as saying , the world economy is at risk unless a binding deal is agreed in Paris next year to reduce heat-trapping carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Ireda was set up in 1987 as a 100% government funding agency for renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and small hdro power projects. Its authorized share capital was last raised by Rs 600 crore to Rs 1000 crore in 2006-07. Against this authorized capital, the agency has a paid-up share capital of over Rs 744 crore.

The ministry has proposed the funding to be done within a month of Cabinet approving the proposal. The Cabinet is expected to take up the proposal shortly. The ministry has set a target of adding 30,000 mw of green capacity by 2017. A higher authorized capital for Ireda, it has argued, would help the agency to leverage the enhanced equity to raise money at home and abroad to meet its funding target.

Ireda is aiming to provide loans for about 4,800 mw renewable energy projects in the 2012-17 Plan period. The agency would have to mobilize financing resources of Rs 14,000 crore. During the 11th Plan period, it had raised Rs 3,690 crore from banks as well as through bonds and international line of credit.

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