According to reports, Solar City project could also be a part of the Smart City project, though both the projects are independent and floated by two different central ministries.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved the proposed master plan to develop the capital city into a solar city under the ‘Development of Solar Cities’ programme. Panaji is amongst the 60 cities selected for utilising the alternative source of energy for electrification.
Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) Mayor Shubham Chodankar said, “The MNRE has approved the master plan for the solar city project and the project will be further taken up by the Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA).”
The proposed project for the city of Panaji is to develop infrastructure for generation of power upto 2 mW from the naturally available resource and utilise as an alternate source. The nodal agency to implement the project will be the GEDA.
The 2 mW project will be implemented in phases by the GEDA. According to sources, GEDA has identified 24 locations to install the solar panels to harness the solar energy.
CCP technical engineer said that in the first phase Goa Medical College at Bambolim or the government buildings at Patto could be taken up on pilot basis. He further said “Infrastructure for the project will be developed in phases, to begin with we could start with 0.5 MW at specific landmarks.” The engineer further said that though the infrastructural investments are high and the solar energy seems non-viable due to cost, in the long run, it is environmentally as well cost beneficial. The central government has sanctioned Rs 43.30 lakh for the project to the city.
A consultant for the project is yet to be appointed and the detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared by GEDA and the Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation (GSIDC) alongwith the consultant.
The solar city programme aims to consolidate all the efforts of the Ministry in the Urban Sector and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner.
With urbanisation and economic development leading to a rapid rise in energy demand in urban areas in our country leading to enhanced Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, the Ministry has initiated various programmes in the Urban Sector for promoting use of solar energy for water heating systems in homes, hotels, hostels, hospitals and industry; deployment of SPV systems/devices in urban areas for demonstration and awareness creation; establishment of ‘Akshya Urja Shops’; design of solar buildings and promoting urban and industrial waste/ biomass to energy projects.