Worried over steadily rising power bills, the cash-starved Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to establish grid-connected rooftop solar power panels in its buildings. The annual electricity bills of GHMC runs beyond Rs 210 crore, including the charges for streetlights in the city and their maintenance. These apart, there is expenditure pertaining to power used in the various offices of the municipal corporation. There are 130 air conditioning units in the GHMC head office alone. According to officials, on an average, if 90 AC units were used for five hours a day, it led to 1,350 units consumption. At Rs 7 per unit, the power bill generated on usage of AC units alone is Rs 3,75,900. It is to reduce this expenditure that the municipal corporation has decided to establish grid-connected rooftop solar panels in its buildings. Officials have already identified 44 buildings for installation of solar panels.
Further, GHMC is roping in The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to conduct a study and prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the prospects of installing rooftop solar panels and identifying suitable locations. “Power consumption in GHMC buildings and, the expenditure of streetlights and water works is increasing every year. The corporation cannot afford to let this continue for long and hence the idea of installing rooftop solar panels has been mooted,” a senior official said. The consultants would prepare a report on the actual consumption of power in GHMC buildings and the wastage as well. In addition to this, the firm would be studying the possible quantum of power that could be generated, the feasibility and above all, select a bidder on behalf of GHMC for setting up the solar panels, he said. “We have not conducted any technical study about the possible quantum of power generation. Given the available infrastructure, there is scope for generating about 8 to 11 MW,” he said.