According to reports, Kerala’s first solar farm on the Mega Watt scale is expected to become operational at Kuzhalmandam in Palakkad district by March next year. The Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) will implement the project estimated to cost Rs.16 crore.
Utilising crystalline silicon technology, the grid-fed solar power plant of 2 MW capacity will come up on 12 acres of land. Designed in-house by ANERT, it features flat plate collectors and intelligent inverters. Once commissioned, the farm will feed 30 lakh units of power to the grid every year.
Officials said the project was designed to assist in research and development of grid-interactive power plants. The farm would be established as a turnkey project.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy released the detailed project report (DPR) of the solar farm during the inauguration of the new headquarters building of ANERT here on Wednesday.
He said the availability of quality power was a critical element in Kerala’s development.
He said the power situation in the State warranted a focus on non-conventional energy sources and energy conservation.
Mr. Chandy said mini-hydel projects and solar power offered clean and eco-friendly means of power generation ideal for a State like Kerala.
Delivering the presidential address, Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed said non-conventional energy sources were the obvious solution to the power crisis faced by the State.
“With no further scope for additional generation through conventional means, the State will have to make maximum use of wind and solar power to bridge the widening gap between demand and supply.”
Pointing out that 5,000 houses across the State had been provided with subsidized rooftop solar panels generating a total of 5 MW, he stressed the need to popularise the initiative. Mr. Mohammed stressed the need to equip government buildings with green features to save energy.
Highlighting the need for energy conservation, he directed the officials at the open-air venue to switch off the lights that were kept on in broad daylight.
With a built-up area of 25,000 sq ft., the new headquarters complex of ANERT is built on the Green Building concept. It will feature a roof top solar power plant of 15 kW capacity, solar-wind hybrid system, biogas plants, and solar water heaters.
K. Muraleedharan, MLA, Additional Chief Secretary Niveditha P. Haran, and ANERT director M. Jayaraju were among those who spoke.