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Bhubaneswar to switch to solar streetlights

According to reports, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday installed a solar streetlight on an experimental basis as part of Centre-sponsored solar city project.

The solar lights, which will be installed in the stretch between Delta and OUAT square, would cost about Rs 1.14 crore. The Union ministry of new and renewable energy ( MNRE) will bear 30% of the project cost, said sources.

The BMC in 2011 was included in the MNRE’s project, which will turn 60 cities, including Bhubaneswar, in the country into solar cities. “The project is supported by Science and Technology Department and Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA),” said BMC commissioner Sanjib Mishra. He said had the BMC gone for normal lights, only Rs 20 lakh would have been spent.

“Although on one-time basis, the cost of installing solar lights is quite high as the BMC will have to pay 70% of the total cost, but in the long run, it will be beneficial. The money spent on electricity consumption will be saved,” said the commissioner. At present, the BMC is spending around Rs 5 crore on streetlighting annually.

He said solar light is only one component of solar city project. Apart from solar lights, the project includes photovoltaic, solar water heating, solar cooking, solar steam generating and solar air-conditioning systems, among others, said the commissioner.

OREDA has sought 600 sq ft of land for installing solar panel and batteries.

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