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Smart turn: Karimnagar looks to the sun

February 25, 2019 12:46 am | Updated 12:46 am IST - KARIMNAGAR

Municipal body has made rooftop solar panels mandatory for large houses

Illustration: Deepak Harichandan

Telangana’s fastest growing urban centre, Karimnagar, is looking to the sun to reduce its carbon footprint. On Saturday, the Municipal Corporation of Karimnagar (MCK) signed an MoU with the Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation (TSREDCO) for the generation of 1.45 MW of power through solar rooftop panels.

The municipal body has passed a resolution requiring all houses, apartments, community halls and commercial establishments with a built up area of more than 300 square yards (2,700 sq.ft) to install solar panels on rooftops.

From March 1, new buildings of more than 300 square yards, must make provision for solar rooftop panels before they can get construction permits. Older structures will also have to install solar panels.

Telangana is ranked second nationally in solar power, generating more than 3,000 MW. Of this, Karimnagar district has an installed capacity of 1.5 MW and Karimnagar town alone accounts for 1,300 kilowatts of solar power.

Mayor Sardar Ravinder Singh said the decision had been taken to encourage solar power generation and also curb pollution from fossil fuels.

The MCK is now claiming the mantle of becoming the first corporation to make it mandatory for all new houses to install solar panels. The civic body would provide a 30% subsidy for the installation through TSREDCO.

Integrating solar power is mandatory as part of the Karimnagar Smart City project, and the civic body is making it easier by providing net-metering facility with the Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (NPDCL). This would enable property owners to earn from the surplus power they generate. The NPDCL would purchase power at ₹3.50 per unit. So far, 43 consumers from Karimnagar town have been selling their surplus solar power.

For its part, the MCK will install rooftop solar panels in 77 buildings across the town, including government offices, school buildings and other government proper-ties to cut electricity bills. The panels are expected to generate around 1.45 MW .

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