According to reports, the Birla-owned Rajashree Cement Factory has became the first industry in the district to tap solar energy to partly meet its electricity requirements. It has installed a 100.3-kV solar power plant on its premises at Malkhed in Sedam taluk.
The power plant can produce 360 units of energy every day. This will be used to meet the requirements of the guesthouse and the officers’ mess. Ramesh H. Nagar, Deputy General Manager of Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL), told The Hindu that the plant had been installed at a cost of Rs. 1.90 crore, and the Union government had sanctioned subsidy of Rs. 63 lakh through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Mr. Nagar said that the factory authorities had installed 560 solar panels at the site and the installation, which was taken up in October last year, was completed in record time.
Sources in the Rajashree Cement Factory said that commercial production of power from the solar plant had not begun since the project was yet to get final approval from KREDL.
Mr. Nagar said that KREDL had given approval for various renewable energy projects that would produce 80 MW of power in the Hyderabad Karnataka region. “Most of these projects are solar thermal and solar photovoltaic projects. However, companies and entrepreneurs who obtained permission from KREDL are yet to approach the company with designs and provide details of the places where these plants would be installed,” Mr. Nagar said. He said the initiative launched by KREDL through mobile exhibitions of various forms of renewable energy in the Gulbarga revenue division was paying rich dividends. “The business of solar energy companies has more than trebled with many households even in rural areas going in for solar power,” Mr. Nagar said. He said that the installation of the roof-top mini-solar power plant at the Aland Taluk Panchayat office at Aland town in the district was almost complete,
“We want to install solar power plants at all gram panchayat offices in the district to reduce their power bills and tap the solar energy available in the district,” he said.