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Solar power mooted for hospitals, health centres in Odisha

According to reports, the State Government is planning to adopt solar energy for hospitals and health centres for ensuring uninterrupted power supply to the institutions.

The objective is to make provision for adequate back-up power to tide over frequent power disruptions and maintain uninterrupted supply while reducing dependence on conventional energy.

The move will also save consumption of diesel by DG sets, contributing to  lowering of GHG emissions.

The Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) has submitted a proposal to the Health department on setting up Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power plants of varied capacities as per the size and necessity of the different hospitals __ district headquarters hospitals (DHHs), community health centres (CHCs), primary health centres (PHCs) and health sub-centres.

The agency has proposed to set up solar PV power plants on hospital premises, either on rooftop or on the ground depending on  availability of sunlight which would generate power for operation of lighting systems, fans, baby warmers and vaccine refrigerators.

It is also planning to install solar- powered pumps for lifting water from bore wells, solar water heating systems as well as solar-powered vaccine refrigerators in the hospitals, OREDA Chief Executive A Rout said.

As per estimates, the total cost of installing a solar energy unit per sub-centre would be `5.40 lakh. But the cost to the user would be `3.78 lakh taking into account the 30 per cent subsidy provided under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

For the PHCs, the cost of the power plant, solar pump, water heating system and vaccine refrigerators would be around ` 15.02 lakh after subsidy while the CHC would accrue `22.93 lakh. The cost of installation of the units at the DHH would be around `99.23 lakh.

There are around 1,053 sub-centres in the State along with 470 PHCs, 229 CHCs and 30 DHHs. The OREDA will not only supply the materials, but also install them in the hospitals and take responsibility of maintenance for five years.

The hospitals, on their part, would have to provide personnel, who would be trained in regular operation and day-to -day maintenance of the solar power systems.

The agency is committed to execute the projects on placement of orders and provide funds within three months for sub-centres, PHCs and CHCs and six months for the DHHs.

The Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) has recommended alternative power supply through solar energy mechanisms, wherever feasible. Solar energy has, in fact, emerged a viable alternative to diesel-based gensets, both in terms of reliability and costs.

The operation and maintenance of DG sets involve running costs to substantial extent while the solar systems would have one-time costs with zero maintenance.

Moreover, they are absolutely free of noise and hazardous emissions like carbon monoxidem nitrogen oxide and sulphur that the DG sets produce.

Keen to go ahead with the project, the Health department has moved all its wings and agencies for the proposal seeking views of MD, NRHM, Director, Health, DMET, Director, Family Welfare, on the matter.

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