Ernakulam dairy unit to run fully on solar energy soon

The milk processing unit of the Ernakulam Regional Cooperative Milk Producers' Union is establishing a 2-MW solar farm using its facilities on its Thripunithura premises. Civil works for the project are under way and once they are completed, the Ernakulam dairy plant will be the first milk processing plant in the country to run fully on solar power, said John Theruvath, chairman of the regional milk cooperative.

He added that the Thripunithura milk processing unit had around 37 acres of space, including wetlands, which had not been used for any purpose. The solar panels will be mounted on existing roofs in parking area, the main building, and the canteen. There will also be floating solar panels utilising a waterbody on the premises.

The solar power generation park will be established with the strong support of the Union government, which has, through the National Dairy Development Board sanctioned ₹11.50 crore for the project. The 2-MW plant will be able to generate 28 lakh units of energy per year, which will meet the requirement of its entire operation. Besides, the solar farm will generate around 53,000 units of energy in surplus, which will be fed into the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) grid. The entire project will save ₹1.60 crore in power charges for the milk union annually.

Mr. Theruvath said the initiative by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying launched under the Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund was a big support for the solar power project.

Solar power panels numbering 3,500 will cover a total area of 60,821 sq ft. The solar farm is being established under the supervision of the Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT), and the civil works for the project are being carried out by the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation.

The Ernakulam region of Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union is engaged in organising dairy farmers and collecting milk in the districts of Ernakulam, Kottayam, Idukki, and Thrissur. The total milk collection stands around 3.84 lakh litres per day from 1,047 milk societies in these districts. The milk cooperative has nearly 11,000 dealers.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 6:37:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ernakulam-dairy-unit-to-run-fully-on-solar-energy-soon/article65585380.ece