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Wind power to light up Kochi’s Marine Drive walkway

According to reports, look, who’s tilting at windmills? Well, bitten by the alternative energy bug, the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has decided to harness wind power, of all places, at Marine Drive! The development authority is planning to tap wind energy for power lighting systems at the Marine Drive walkway. In the first phase, the authority plans to generate about five kilowatt electricity which can power 100 lights installed at the walkway on a trial basis.

“We have done an initial study and conducted tests. We can generate about 10 kilowatt from a wind-powered turbine at Marine Drive. Before installing a windmill, we will conduct a trial,” said GCDA chairman N Venugopal. The turbine will be installed at the northern side of the newly-constructed stretch of the walkway at an expense of Rs 3.90 lakh. “In the second stage, we will try to utilize energy generated to power the metal-halide (MH) lamps installed in the same area,” he added.

According to GCDA, more such wind-powered turbines will be set up at the available spaces along the Marine Drive stretch if the trial turns out to be a success. The project has been entrusted with a private agency, United Electricals, which is also executing solar energy projects undertaken by GCDA.

The authority has already converted 42 lights installed at the garden near its office complex at Kadavanthra to solar energy at an expense of Rs 80,000. Now, the focus is on using solar power to meet the energy requirements of the first two floors of their office building.

“The project will help us generate 35 units of power, which is sufficient to meet 50% of the energy requirements to the office complex. The project will be executed at a cost of Rs 48 lakh,” said Venugopal. If the GCDA succeeds in generating surplus power by tapping both wind and solar power, it plans to sell the excess to the state government at a mutually agreed price.

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