Solar power for State lighthouses
Odisha’s six lighthouses, that have been providing safe voyage to mariners and navigators since the British era, have been solarised as part of a country-wide programme to power these establishments with renewable energy. Solarisation of lighthouses was completed recently.
The lighthouses are now effectively functioning with solar renewable energy and solarisation process has so far been hassle-free, bereft of technical snags.Lighthouses in Chandrabhaga and Puri, both in Puri district; False Point in Kendrapara district; Gopalpur and Prayagi in Ganjam district; and Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district have been solarised as per the initiative of the Union Ministry of Shipping. Solar energy system has been put in place at the lighthouses to reduce carbon dioxide emission, according to officials of Directorate General of Lighthouse and Lightships (DGLL). They added that the beam of light of a lighthouse covers at least 18 km and a maximum of 36 km. The generated renewable energy is able to meet each of the lighthouses’ daily power requirement.
“Paradip lighthouse has been brought under the solarisation project. At present, we are able to generate one kilo watt of solar energy to meet power requirement of the beam light signal. The solar plant is being further expanded,” informed head of Paradip lighthouse, BK Datta.
Lighthouses in the State were earlier operating on the conventional source of energy like electricity and diesel generators. These have been replaced with solar energy as part of solarisation plan of Union Shipping Ministry. All of the six lighthouses have been be powered by solar panels in a pollution control measure. The initiative has led to the use of green energy for environment-friendly measure.
As the lighthouses are lying in close proximity of serene sea beach, plans are afoot to develop these centres as tourist destinations. Already beautification of the lighthouse sites has been undertaken. As a result of which, there has been a marked increase in tourists’ footfall in all these six lighthouses in the state, observed officials of Directorate General of Lighthouse and Lightships (DGLL).
Apparently, the solarisation project had started in the country in 2014-15 financial year by the Ministry and including six lighthouses in Odisha, 193 lighthouses throughout the country were fitted with solar panels at the cost of `1145.03 lakhs.