The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) has decided to utilise solar power in order to save electricity bills. For this, the Water Board is seeking an allotment of Rs 50 crore funds in the state budget that will be presented during the assembly session later this month. This is the first time that the Water Board has taken such an initiative to utilise solar power. Currently, the Water Board is paying nearly Rs 55 crore monthly power bills for power consumption in pumping and distributing the network from Godavari phase-I and Krishna phases I,II and III.
Apart from water supply, power bills for running sewerage treatment plants (STPs) located at various places in the city are also very high. “The Water Board’s monthly power consumption is between 120 and 150 Mega Watt (M W) and we are paying nearly Rs 55 crore monthly electricity bills.For instance, the water board is operating three out of six pumps for supplying Godavari water to the city and 24 pumps (three pumps for each phase) for supplying of Krishna water. For this, nearly 100 MW of power consumption is required. Simultaneously for Osmansagar and Himayathsagar reservoirs, nearly 10 MW power is utilised and another 10 MW for STPs. To make it worse, supplies from Singur and Manjira have stopped,“ general managerelectrical, HMWS&SB, P Anil Kumat told TOI. This summer, the power consumption will go up by another 20 M, if water board operates remaining three pumps for pumping and supplying of Godavari water. This will continue for at least four months (March to June) and as a result, the monthly power bill will increase to Rs 70 crore, an official said.
“Utilising solar power instead of electricity is a welcome move. If we prefer solar power, we will require nearly 50 MW. Though the concept of solar power is a costly affair, in the long run, it will be very useful for us. The cost of one MW solar power is around Rs 6 crore. We can save crores in power bills and also get uninterrupted solar power,“ the official said. Now the Water Board is hoping that the government will allot funds in its state budget to set up solar power plants. The recommendation has gone to the Municipal Administration & Urban Development (MA&UD) department.