According to reports, the city will soon enter the league of solar-powered cities in the country as the consultation meeting of the stakeholders for the Solar City project will be held by the second week of this month.
The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), which has been entrusted with the preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) of the project, will convene the first meeting of the stakeholders this month. With this, Kochi is all set to join the other solar cities in the country such as Agra, Aizawl, Bhubaneswar, Chamoli Gopeshwar, Coimbatore, Gurgaon, Imphal, Kalyan Dombivli, Howrah, Kohima, Nagpur, Rajkot and Thane. The city will also become the first one in the state to launch the project.
The project is being launched as part of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) plan to develop 60 Solar Cities in India. The Centre will provide financial assistance and technical help to cities for the preparation of a master plan for increasing renewable energy supply and take energy efficiency measures in the city, setting up institutional arrangements for the implementation of the master plan and for awareness generation and capacity building. “With the Corporation entering into an agreement with ICLEI South, the city is heading towards the status of a Solar City and will achieve the target of a 10 per cent reduction in the projected demand of conventional energy by the end of five years,” said a Corporation official.
The estimated cost for DPR preparation is `10 lakh. The project will focus on installing solar energy systems to power streetlights, garden lights, households, hotels and restaurants and major administrative offices. Along with installing new solar-based devices, the project will mainly focus on increasing the energy efficiency of the existing system, thereby saving energy. Under the project, the zonal offices and major administrative offices of the Corporation will have solar lights.
“The components and mode of implementation will be finalised after the preparation of the DPR,” said the official.
At present, the Corporation is paying almost `80 lakh to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) every month as electricity charges . Once the solar city project is launched, the authorities believe that the electricity bill and energy loss can be reduced to a considerable extent.