Solar energy project launched at Central Prison, Poojappura
If the State does not come up with alternative sources of power generation, it will face a severe power crisis by 2020, Minister for Electricity Aryadan Mohammed has said.
He was speaking at the switch-on ceremony of a solar energy project set up at the Central Prison, Poojappura, in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan inaugurated the project.
“The power requirement of the State will increase to 6,000 MW by 2020, whereas the current electricity production is much less. If proper projects are not started in time, Kerala will plunge into darkness,” Mr. Mohammed said.
The government, he said, had decided to implement a pilot project for installing rooftop solar panels in as many as 10,000 houses in the State. Solar panels with a capacity of one kW would be installed, and the off-grid power could be stored in a battery that would power equipment in the house. The project would help generate a total of 10 MW of power every year. If successful, the project would be implemented in more houses, Mr. Mohammed said.
He said each unit would cost Rs.2.5 lakh but with Central and State subsidies, the cost would come down to Rs.1.2 lakh. The State would consider giving more allowances next year, he added.
The solar energy project at the Poojappura jail has been set up at a cost of Rs.7.9 crore. Street lighting, lighting and fans for blocks, steam cooking, chapatti-making unit, and water pumping will be powered by solar energy. Nearly 229 kW of power will be generated by the project.
The project will considerably reduce power consumption. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had charged Rs.1.27 crore last year in tariffs.
The transition to solar energy will ensure 24-hour power supply and a 12-hour back-up.
In all jails
The shift to solar energy will be undertaken in jails across the State, and Rs.25.56 crore has been earmarked for this, Alexander Jacob, ADGP (Prisons), said.