Amid dwindling finances, the university is hoping to save on electricity expenditure by switching to solar energy.
Amid dwindling finances owing to the pandemic outbreak, Punjab University (PU) has decided to expedite the installation of rooftop solar panels on campus to curtail spending.
The recommendation was made by a special panel constituted by the varsity to suggest austerity measures. PU is set to lose out on revenue from various sources, including the hostel fee this year. Besides, it has also given a 5% concession on semester fee to students.
In view of this, the university is hoping to save on electricity expenditure by switching to solar energy.
When contacted, PU’s executive engineer RK Rai said the project is in pipeline and a survey of rooftops on both campuses of the university has already been done. “We can install solar panels producing up to 5 megawatt electricity and we are planning to do it in a phased manner,” said Rai.
He added, “We are planning to use the Capex (Capital Expenditure) model wherein the university will bear the expenses of installation and own the energy produced.”
According to the estimated budget for 2020-21, the varsity’s expenditure on electricity and water charges is pegged at Rs 10.69 crore. According to the revised budget, PU’s electricity and water expenditure for 2019-20 is around Rs 9 crore.
Besides installation of solar panels, the PU austerity committee has also recommended cuts under several budget heads, which will be incorporated in the revised budget for 2020-21.
Earlier this year, PU had constituted a panel for installation of rooftop solar panels on campus buildings. In May 2016, the UT administration had issued a notification, making the installation of rooftop solar power plants mandatory for residential and non-residential buildings in the city.