KOCHI: Solar power generation has gone up significantly in Kochi with many big firms switching over to solar energy. Kochi Metro, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), Government Medical College, Ernakulam are some of the big institutions installing solar plants. Moreover, a majority of the 10,000 applicants who have registered with the Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) Soura rooftop solar power plant project are from Kochi.
The medical college is all set to commission a 153KW solar power plant. “The plant will cater to 10% of our power requirement. The cost of the project is around Rs 1 crore,” said Dr V K Sreekala, principal. “We are planning to install solar plants on the rooftop of all new buildings, which are being constructed. The construction of several buildings, including a 5.5 lakh sq ft super speciality block, is going on. Solar panels can be erected on all these buildings. Then, the entire power requirement can be met by solar energy,” Sreekala said.
According to KSEB officials, registrations as part of the Soura project is going on. “So far, we have received more than 10,000 registrations from across the state. Of these, a huge majority is from Kochi,” said Joseph V K, chief engineer in charge of renewable energy.
“Many big consumers, especially central government institutions like the Food Corporation of India and Railways, inquired about the Soura project,” he said. “In Kochi, the Indian Oil Corporation has held talks with us for installing a 4MW project with our assistance. Later, they decided to do it on their own,” Joseph said.
“Generation of solar energy has increased significantly. As most of the solar panels erected by private firms or individuals are yet to be connected to the KSEB grid, we don’t have the exact figure regarding power generation,” he said. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd has already commissioned a 2,670kWp (kilowatt during peak hour) project. “We entered into agreement with a private firm for installation and maintenance of the solar panels. It made the capital investment and would also take care of the maintenance. We will have to purchase power from them at a rate which is lower than that of the KSEB,” an official with KMRL said.