Taking up its mission for green energy a step further, the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) will now incentivise colleges for installing solar panels. To enable this, the university administration recently passed a decision to include solar panel installation in the list of approved expenses under the its Quality Improvement Programme (QIP).“Under the QIP, we give a fund of Rs 5 lakh from the university once in two years to attached colleges for various proposals for their development, that until now included building expenses, buying sports equipment, library, equipments for laboratory and computers. However, from this year, installation of solar panels unit is also eligible for this scheme. Those colleges who wish to install solar panels can send their proposals under QIP for funding. This decision has been taken to reiterate the university’s commitment towards propagating green energy initiatives and to encourage our affiliated colleges in the same direction,” said vice chancellor Wasudeo Gade.
According to a circular issued in this regard, colleges wishing to avail of this fund will have to send proposals online between December 2 and 31 while hard copies of proposals can be sent till January 5, 2017. “Three types of systems can be installed — grid tied photovoltaic (PV) system, off-grid system and hybrid system. While grid-tied PV systems have certain advantages, like it helps save more money with net metering, the utility grid is a virtual battery that allows electricity generated to be consumed in real time. But it needs uninterrupted and reliable grid-supply and such a system is not advisable for colleges that have recurrent power outages. An off-grid system is the obvious solution where grid is not available and it leads to energy self-sufficiency, but they require battery storage and this is an expensive and complicated job. Hybrid systems combine the best of the other two systems and are also less expensive,” said an official.