As part of a broader energy efficiency upgrade, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to install a solar power system at Asia’s largest water treatment plant in Bhandup.
According to information, a state-of-art solar unit will be set at the plant by October, which will generate around 2.5MW of power.
“The corporation has recognised the use of clean, renewable energy to help power water treatment plants. Solar power will reduce our carbon footprint as well as our operational costs and exposure to volatile electricity prices. In that respect, it’s beneficial for us all,” said additional municipal commissioner Dr Sanjay Mukherjee.
He added that the solar power unit will bear around 30 per cent of energy demand of the plant, which treats raw water from four dams before supplying it to more than 20 lakh households across the city.
The installation of the solar energy unit is as per the ‘off-grid’ policy passed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led state cabinet, which has compelled the civic body to not only work to encourage the conservation of precious water resources, but also actively support the protection of environment via responsible use of renewable energy.
The plan to install solar energy unit on the water treatment plant was proposed in 2008. However, the plan was only realised in 2015, with the standing committee approving the necessary financial provision.
“The work is in the final phase and the plant will be up and running by October. It will ease the burden of power supply on the plant,” a senior civic officer said, while adding that the BMC is also planning to install more solar energy units in the next six months.
Solar power for hospitals
Apart from installing solar energy unit at the water treatment plant, the civic body is also working to affix more such installations on three hospitals, namely Lokmanya Tilak, Topiwala Nair and (KEM). “The project is been thoroughly worked out. Phase one will see installation on three main hospitals (Lokmanya Tilak, Nair and KEM), followed by smaller ones and then on the various buildings in the 24 wards,” an officer informed.
The entire project is run in aegis with the state government, which is set to spend Rs 2,682 crore over the next five years on renewable energy projects across Maharashtra.