According to reports, in a bid to popularize environmental-friendly energy sources, Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL), is going to build a 1 MW solar power plant and distribute the power generated through women self-help groups. The company is setting up the solar power plant near its substation in Surajpur in Greater Noida. It is simultaneously developing the self-help groups through a separate programme in association with a Delhi-based NGO, Development Initiatives.
Electricity from the solar power plant would help the company meet its target of procuring at least four per cent of total energy purchased from renewable sources. This is as per the mandate set out by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) whereby each power distribution utility that purchases power from others has to procure at least four per cent of the total energy from renewable sources. “Instead of purchasing power from outside, we are trying to generate as much renewable energy ourselves through captive solar power plants,” said CEO of NPCL, RC Agarwala. “We have set the target of producing 1 MW solar power within a span of two years,” said Agarwala.
In subsequent phases, NPCL would engage in community distribution of solar power through women self-help groups. “Solar power would be distributed, on a cost basis, through women self-help groups that we are building in villages in Greater Noida as part of another programme. We are doing this in association with a Delhi-based NGO, Development Alternatives,” said Agarwala.
A project to run all its offices and substations on solar power is already underway by the NPCL. Under this project, six offices and six substations of the NPCL in Greater Noida will run on solar power. The energy that would be saved by running its own utilities on solar power would be diverted for the use of consumers. “Since Greater Noida is a rapidly developing city, the number of consumers is growing with each passing day. Power thus saved can be diverted for consumers’ demands,” said Agarwala.
The MNRE provides a flat rebate of around 28-30 per cent for setting up these systems. After discount, each system would cost around Rs 22 lakh to the company.