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Visakha Dairy installs solar plant

According to reports, with the Port City already bearing the brunt of frequent power cuts a couple of months prior to the onslaught of summer, Visakha Dairy has gone ahead and installed solar power panels with a capacity of 1.15 MW to reduce its dependency on the power grid.

While state minister for investment, infrastructure and ports, Ganta Srinivas Rao, inaugurated the solar plant on Wednesday, Visakha Dairy said that the plant, spread over an area of 5 acre, would help save around Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh on power bills every month.

Speaking to TOI, Visakha Dairy managing director S V Ramana said, “We want to reduce our dependence on power. Since our industry caters to highly perishable goods, power is an important factor for us.”

Pointing out that the frequent power cuts and restrictions imposed during peak hours were also key factors that drove the dairy to take up solar power, he said, “Even though we have diesel generators, it is a cause of pollution and involves high maintenance. When the central and state governments are giving subsidies for encouraging solar power, we thought we should take the lead. We have about 5 acres of space adjacent to our dairy so we invited tenders and set up the solar plant.”

Claiming that Visakha Dairy is the first dairy in the entire state to set up a solar plant for captive use, Ramana said: “We have got a warranty of five years and guaranteed power generation of 80 lakh units in five years or about 16 lakh units per annum. In addition, we will get the benefit of renewable energy certificates (REC), which are tradable.” Even though the price of RECs has dropped from Rs 13 per unit to Rs 9 per unit over the last couple of years, the dairy can still save a huge amount of money and get back its return on investment in 3-4 years, he said, adding that Renen Solar Private Limited from Hyderabad installed the solar plant for the dairy.

Mentioning future plans, he said, “We are planning to increase capacity, but the cost of land plays an important role. So we are searching for land near the grid so that we can reduce the cost of laying power cables and enjoy the benefits of solar power.”

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