According to reports, in what is a first-of-its-kind initiative by any cantonment body in the country, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) is getting ready to switch from traditional electricity to power generated through solar energy. SCB authorities plan to begin construction of a Rs.7 crore solar power plant project on August 1 this year.
They said the energy would be used to power all street lights, bore wells and even submersible water pumps within the cantonment area.
Moreover, when the power plant is fully operational, all of SCB’s energy needs, including power supply to its own offices and official residences of its officers, would be realised only through solar energy.
Authorities said that of the 62 existing cantonments in the country, SCB would be the first to have a dedicated solar power plant to generate electricity for its own needs. It has also managed to get a no objection certificate for the project from the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB).
The solar power plant is being constructed, thanks largely to an agreement between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The construction and technical support needed for the project is expected to be handled by Solar Energy of Corporation of India (SECI), which comes under the MNRE’s jurisdiction.
Officials pointed out that once the solar power plant was ready, SCB’s power bills to the APCPDCL would come down drastically.
Currently, the SCB pays close to Rs.80 lakh towards power bills every month. Apart from this, it also incurs close to Rs.1.2 crore a month towards HT (High Tension) consumers which usually includes industries, commercial complexes and power bore wells.
A team of experts have already identified Balamrai near Paradise, and Gunrock area in Karkhana as the ideal place to set up a solar power plant. Officials said that once commissioned; the plant would be able to generate 1MW (mega watt) of power, which should be enough for utilities under the SCB area.