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Grants for educational institutions to use renewable energy

According to reports, the Central Government is now offering grants to educational institutions that adopt renewable energy to meet their power requirements. The grants would meet nearly half of the project cost. Several institutions in southern districts of Tamil Nadu have already begun installation of power plants to join the project.

The project is being implemented in the State through Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA).

S.E.S. Syed Ahamed, Deputy General Manager, TEDA Madurai Region, which comprises 11 southern and central districts, told The Hindu here on Sunday that the grants would be disbursed under the recently-announced Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), which plans to generate 20 gigawatts by 2020 through establishing solar photovoltaic (SPV) and solar thermal power plants across the country,

It offered grants to establish Solar Roof Top Power plants in educational institutions for which a maximum Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of Rs. 81 lakh would be provided for every 100 KW. The total cost of a 100 KW SPV power System was Rs. 2 crore.

In the past year, several engineering colleges in southern Tamil Nadu held seminars, symposiums and celebrations on renewable energy. They were keen to implement the solar and wind projects in their institutions and some institutions had already commenced projects.

They include a 25 KW SPV project in Sethu Institute of Technology in Kariapatti and a 10 KW SPV in Cape Institute of Technology, Kanyakumari besides a 50 KW SPV in two other engineering colleges in Dindigul and Madurai. The subsidies for these institutions would be released soon, he said.

Mr. Syed also said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had directed all banks to provide loans for renewable energy projects at a concessional interest rate of 5 per cent, repayable in 5 years. A minimum generation of 600 units per day from solar power plants would save Rs.15 lakh in annual electricity cost. It would lead to a payback in not more than eight years with the solar plant having a life period of nearly 25 years.

Another alternative was the wind-solar hybrid systems, for which the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) would provide a CFA of Rs.1.5 lakh per one kilowatt. In these systems, the wind solar capacity was in the proportion of 60:40.

The total cost of a 100 KW wind-solar hybrid system is Rs. 1.6 crore, of which the subsidy itself would be Rs. 1.5 crore or nearly the entire project cost, he said.

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