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Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) planning to make solar mandatory for larger buildings

According to reports,  close on the heels of the Union finance minister ruing the burgeoning cost of energy imports while presenting the Budget in the LokSabha on Thursday, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) is planning to make it mandatory for buildings beyond a particular size to install their own solar power plant.

The BDA, which has been currently in the process of amending the BDA (planning and building standards) regulations 2008, is planning to make it compulsory for buildings of minimum 300 sq metre and beyond to install 500 Watt solar power plants.

The buildings will be able to sell surplus solar energy to the national grid, according to the BDA plan. “Technology to generate solar energy has become very cost effective. Making changes in regulations will boost dependence on the clean source of energy,” housing and urban development secretary Injeti Srinivas told TOI.

Apart from houses for which solar plants would be compulsory, others opting for solar energy will get certain incentives from the government, said sources. As per a proposal, houses with solar plants will have two meters for the solar energy: One for measuring their use and the other for the energy they will divert to the national grid. The government will involve a private party for technological support. “Such a model of selling extra energy to the grid exists in Ahmedabad. The government is exploring to replicate the same in the city,” said town planning director P K Patnaik. Hotels and hospitals will also be encouraged to depend on green sources for at least part of their energy needs.

Realtors have welcomed the government move. “It is a good green energy initiative. Along with it, the government should give incentives to buildings for plantations, environment-friendly waste disposal system and water harvesting,” said D S Tripathy, state president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India.

As of now, the secretariat building has a rooftop photovoltaic power plant. The Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA), the government agency popularizing use of non-conventional energy, has installed the solar panels. The 50 kilo watt plant has been directly connected to the secretariat grid.

Around the city, two solar power plants of 1 MW each in Barang and Tangi, financed by S N Mohanty Group and MGM Minerals, are under various stages of completion. These two projects were approved under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) to generate grid quality power.

Under a separate programme, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been preparing a master plan for implementation of the Union government-sponsored solar city project for which the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had selected the state capital among 50 cities across the country. Under the project, the civic body is supposed to find out ways to reduce at least 10% of the projected demand of conventional energy through renewable energy.

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