Initially the project will benefit people living on hillslopes, slums
People living on hillslopes and slums in the city will soon have solar streetlighting facility as part of the Solar City project of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources (MNRE) has approved the proposal submitted by the VMC.
On a pilot basis, the streetlights in the hilly areas of One Town will be converted into solar streetlights. Plans are afoot to bring the bustling Mogalrajpuram and a few other areas under the project which aims at studying the efficacy of solar batteries used for the streetlighting.
Solar energy can be easily tapped in hilly regions compared to the plains.
The VMC has installed three solar lights on the premises of the Rajiv Gandhi Park near Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) on an experimental basis.
Municipal Commissioner G. Ravi Babu said the corporation would call tenders for installation of solar streetlights soon. The tender process is likely to be completed by the year-end paving the way for the implementation of the project in January 2012.
The VMC has allocated funds to the tune of around Rs. 30-35 crore per annum for the purpose. The overall budget may go up to Rs. 139 crore, said Mr. Ravi Babu.
The engineering wing of the corporation has been asked to spell out the requirements to switch to the new streetlighting system across the city. The city has over 27,000 tubelights and the VMC will be able to save power if the entire streetlighting is based on solar power, he said.
The VMC master plan envisages transformation of Vijayawada into a solar city. It has a database of electricity consumption in the city and the estimated carbon emission levels. It has set a goal of a minimum of 10 per cent reduction in the projected total demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, to be achieved through saving energy by following energy-efficiency measures and generation from renewable energy installations. Vijayawada is one of the 16 cities identified under the Rajiv Solar Energy Mission Project by the Central government.