OU plans 1 MW solar power plant on its campus

University gets ₹108 crore under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan

Osmania University will soon generate its own electricity to meet its needs partially, with plans for establishment of 1 MW solar power plant that may start in a few months.

The university has proposed the 1 MW power plant in its presentation for securing funds under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), the Central government’s scheme to improve quality in the Indian State universities. It has already been sanctioned ₹108 crore under the scheme and a part of that money would be used for the power plant.

OU Vice-Chancellor S. Ramchandram said the 1 MW power plant will meet nearly 20% of the present energy needs of the varsity as it is paying nearly ₹ 12 crore electricity charges every year. For the establishment of the 1 MW plant it takes about ₹ 5 crore to ₹ 6 crore apart from five acres.

The varsity has already identified some places and is ready to spend the money for the project from the RUSA funds. It is likely to take a shape soon as the funds under RUSA have to be spent before 2020.

Norm restrictions

Officials say they can actually have a 2 MW plant, but RUSA norms state that only 30% of funds can be spent on infrastructure and the rest on academic programmes and facilities required for them.

In fact, the university needs about 5 MW of power for its needs every year and to meet the entire demand, it has already proposed for a 5 MW power plant in its claim for funds under the Institution of Eminence status.

If the status is granted, the varsity will get ₹1,000 crore over a five-year span.

“Proposals have been submitted and the presentation was also given to the MHRD and we are expecting positive results though the competition is fierce,” said Sriram Venkatesh, Professor at OU College of Engineering.

If the varsity clears the final selection process, the 5 MW power plant can be established easily.

Research centre

In fact, it has also proposed to establish a research centre for solar power studies in its presentation.

But if this fails to come, it will also look at another option in which the Solar Energy Council of India (SECI) builds the power plant free of cost if land is given to them.

However, the university needs to pay back the establishment cost over a period of time to the SECI.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 12:14:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ou-plans-1-mw-solar-power-plant-on-its-campus/article24157036.ece

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