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Power tariff hike in Kerala triggers solar fever

According to reports, with KSEB hiking power tariff in the state, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is toying with the idea of tapping solar energy to bring down its electricity bills. The metropolitan authority plans to install solar panels at its headquarters in Kadavanthara as well as the shopping complexes it owns in the city.

GCDA chairman N Venugopal said the authority would get the details of the electricity charges it pays under various heads. “The power tariff hike will reflect in our bills. So we are planning to use solar energy to bring down our expenses,” he said.

As an initial step, GCDA will ask interested firms to demonstrate before its officials the efficiency of solar panels, lights and other equipment.

The chairman said a project proposal would be drafted depending on the success of the trial.

“Marine Drive and Rajendra Maidan will also reap the benefits of solar energy. With the Centre providing subsidy for solar energy projects, it will be easy for GCDA to generate the required funds,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Kochi Corporation has informed that it would speed up the process of installing energy saving lamps ( CFL) on its streets. The local body is also considering installing solar panels in its buildings with the help of the subsidy provided by the government.

“Currently we are spending more than Rs 25 lakh a month on electricity charges. With the tariff hike coming into effect, the corporation will be forced to shell out an even bigger amount, straining our financial resources,” said corporation secretary Ajit Patel.

He said that before implementing solar energy-based projects, the civic body would study its efficiency as the success of these devices would largely depend on the weather conditions in the city.

As solar panels require huge initial investment, the corporation will also have to do a feasibility study.

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