According to reports, the ‘Solar City’ project, proposed by the Centre in late 2011, will progress to the next step if the master plan is ready by the end of this month.
The project was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to enable the cities tap more renewable energy. The purpose of the project is to reduce electricity consumption by 10 per cent by utilising solar energy. The project had 48 cities in its ambit at the start, out of which 37 were sanctioned in the first phase and seven cities were ready with the master plan at the launch of the project.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had roped in a consultant to help prepare the master plan for the city. Civic officials are hopeful that the consultant will be ready with the plan in time.“Our major focus will be on street-lighting as major part of our funds go into it. We will now try to reduce the funding by using solar energy,” said BMC Environment Officer BK Rout. Government hospitals, office buildings and BMC offices, could be used to set up solar panels for tapping solar power.
The master plan cost of Rs 2 lakh is being provided by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA). It will take into account the complete power consumption of households and industrial zones in the city. It will also record the city’s petrol consumption and other forms of energy over the years.� Based on these reports, they will identify locations for tapping solar energy. Recently a mega project was undertaken in Gujarat by its government in solar energy. In Bhubaneswar the project is in its nascent stage, but the plan will make use of whatever resources the city has to tap solar power.
BMC officials said Bhubaneswar also has land for such a development, but will have to wait till the master plan is ready.