A green initiative: 498kW solar power plant installed on Yenepoya’s Derlakatte campus
Mangaluru: Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore in partnership with OV Energy on June 27 affirmed its commitment to not just training potential doctors to save lives, but to promote a sustainable lifestyle and save our environment as well.
Senior officials of the University including Vice Chancellor Dr. M. Vijayakumar, Registrar Dr. G. Shreekumar Menon, Finance Director Farhaad Yenepoya and all the Deans of the constituent colleges along with the CEO of OV Energy, Dev Arora gathered to inaugurate the 498 kW rooftop solar plant spread over 5 different buildings on campus.
The solar panels installed on the pitched tile roofs of the various buildings look most apt in the backdrop of the lush green campus which is blessed with plenty of green foliage. The University is considered a pioneer in promoting sustainability but the decision to go solar was not just to switch across to a cleaner, emission-free source of power but also driven by a desire to enjoy a significant reduction in the form of savings on their electricity expenditure.
Rooftop solar has now become more affordable than grid power, and the 498 kW plant will generate in excess of 6 lakh units of energy annually, translating to a yearly saving of approximately Rs 25 lakhs.
The system has been installed by OV Energy, a fast-growing solar rooftop player under the BOOT model wherein the University did not pay any upfront costs to install the System, but simply pays for the power generated by the system at a fixed price for the tenure of the agreement. Since this price is at a discount to what they currently pay to the distribution company (DISCOM), it’s a win-win situation having invested nothing upfront but realizing savings on their energy expenditure from the very first day.
Additionally, there is no charge for maintenance or any other related costs to generating clean solar power for the next 25 years. This project falls under the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s (SECI) subsidy scheme which extends financial support to educational institutions, home-owners and non-profits looking to switch to solar and thereby promoting widespread use of solar.
The system also falls under the state net-metering policy whereby all the excess units of energy generated during the day are fed back to the grid and accorded due credit with the DISCOM, increasing the overall savings generated.
The beautiful architecture of the various buildings was perfectly suited for solar as pictured below with the solar panels installed over the tiled roof, utilizing the existing angle to optimize the incidence of solar irradiation on the panels and ensure maximum output in terms of generation of energy.
Moreover, the system has been designed in such a way to ensure that the roof is not compromised in any way with respect to leakages but rather would benefit the entire building by reducing the temperature in peak summer and thereby reducing the energy needed to cool – another form of savings through rooftop solar.
The initiative to go solar is just the first of many that the University plans to take in its pledge to truly be a green campus and ingratiate in its students and faculty alike, a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle. Given India’s ambitious targets and commitments on the global stage, this wonderful initiative to contribute to India’s emission reduction is certainly the need of the hour and a stellar example for other institutions to follow.