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Surat moves towards becoming a solar city

According to reports, the Diamond City will start producing nearly 3.35 lakh units of solar power per annum from next month. Solar roof top panels with a capacity of generating 1,250 kilowatt (kw) are functional at 15 places.

Surat is to become one of the solar cities in India under the solar mission of Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).

Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) started production of solar power last April by installing 500 kw solar panels atop Science Center and has produced 1.35 lakh units of electricity in one year.Roof top panels have been installed at Katargam water works, eight water distribution centres, Varachha and Limbayat zone office, Narmad library building, SMIMER College and SMC main building at Mugalsarai. Together they have a capacity of 750kw.

“Solar panels at all these places are under the testing phase and will become operative by April 1. The production of electricity from these places will be directly fed to distribution grid of Torrent power which is the energy regulator here. We will be paid Rs 11.57 per unit as decided under MoU with Torrent,” said Jatin Shah, city engineer with SMC. This solar power generation will save SMC nearly Rs 45 lakh.

“We are planning to expand our solar power generation capacity to 3,000 kw by the end of 2015,” said Shah. SMC aims to achieve its goal of producing more than 90 per cent of its energy requirements through non-conventional sources by 2015-16. Industries will have to be persuaded to produce green energy as SMC’s green energy production constitutes only a very small part of the city’s total requirements.

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