The country’s premier technical institute, NIT-K, Surathkal will soon be equipped with one of the largest solar rooftops in a government academic institute in the region. The one MW rooftop solar plant will be inaugurated on November 12.
The power grid is being installed across 11 academic buildings of National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, Karnataka as per national solar mission. The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) had persuaded the ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) to request all academic institutes to set up roof-mounted solar plants to implement green technologies.”As of now, connection to only four buildings are done. The rest are almost complete and will be inaugurated during the annual convocation ceremony on November 12,” said D N Gaonkar, assistant professor and nodal officer for solar plant project.
CleanMax Solar, a rooftop solar developer, is developing the plant, in association with the institute. They have signed an agreement with NIT-K for 25 years. According to the agreement, the developer will bear the cost of setting up the entire solar rooftop, and will sell power to NIT-K. Gaonkar added that power expense will be lower than KPTCL power grid charges. With the focus on maximizing power generation, the project has been designed, keeping in mind the high wind load due to the institute’s proximity to the Arabian Sea, he said.
Saves Rs 5 lakh a month
NIT-K, Surathkal will save about Rs 5 lakhs a month on energy expenditure once the solar roof top becomes operational.Sharing the data, Gaonkar said the institute consumes about 2 MW power on a usual working day, including usage in hostel, labs and other areas. “But this halves during holidays and the total power expenditure a month is about Rs 40 lakh,” he said.
Gaonkar added after complete installation, one MW power will be saved every day and about Rs 5 lakh a month to government exchequer.
In the future, as more buildings are added to the institution, all of them will be equipped with solar rooftops. This is a larger initiative, thanks to the commitment from NIT-K in implementing sustainable and green technology in academic institutions.