Plagued by heavy electrical bills that touch over `30 lakh, the government is pinning its hopes on the sun for a bailout. Worried over expenditure on power every month, the state government has set its eyes on the sun to meet its energy requirements. As of now, the state foots a whopping Rs 31 lakh plus expenditure on monthly electricity bills at Vidhana Soudha, Multi-Storied (MS) Building and Legislators’ Home (LH), the major hubs of governance in the city. The government has done a feasibility study estimating the energy generation potential of these prime buildings, and in association with the energy department is working out a detailed plan to commission solar units on their roof-tops. This decision about the solar units was revealed by state energy minister DK Shivakumar in his written reply to MLC Jayamala in the Legislative Council on Tuesday.
Asked about the government’s expenditure on monthly energy bills and the generation potential of these buildings by Jayamala, minister Shivakumar said that the department has already done a feasibility study in this regard and is considering all aspects of implementation of the project. “The technical assessment has revealed that all the three buildings—Vidhana Soudha, LH and MS Building — would collectively have a potential to generate about 330 kilowatt. In fact the LH located on slightly elevated land with lot of open space could generate the highest amount of solar power to the tune of 150 kilowatt. Converting this into units, we will be capable of generating about 44,550 units every month,” Shivakumar said in his reply.
Comparing the generation potential with the energy expenditure, Shivakumar said, “Combining all the three buildings, currently we are consuming a total of 3,02,999 units every month. For consumption of these many units we have been paying Rs 31,83,059 as monthly electricity bill. By getting the solar units going, we can save about Rs 3,15,414 in the monthly electricity bills.” The minister’s reply comes at a time when the state is yet to reach its desired target of commissioning roof-top solar projects under various Escoms limits. Previously, the state legislature headed by the then speaker and current revenue minister Kagodu Thimmappa had proposed generating solar power on the rooftop of Vidhan Soudha to at least meet the power requirements of lighting the statues of various leaders and freedom fighters on its premises. However, minister Shivakumar clarified that currently there was no such proposal before the government.