Bhadrachalam temple to tap solar energy

The historical Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadradri Kothagudem district. The Endowments departments mooted a proposal to set up solar power plant at the temple.   | Photo Credit: G_N_RAO

Dwindling income and rising electricity costs have prompted the authorities of the historic Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam to chart out a plan to tap solar energy to meet the electricity needs of the temple in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way.

With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to take its toll on the temple revenues with sharp drop in footfall of devotees, the cost-cutting measures have gained renewed focus in recent weeks. Prior to the crisis, the annual revenue of the temple from all sources including hundi offerings, donations and sale of prasadams ranged between ₹ 35 crore to ₹ 40 crore. The temple witnessed a drastic fall in income ever since the crisis triggered by the pandemic broke out.

In this backdrop, the temple authorities have mooted a proposal to set up a solar power plant at the temple to offshoot the whopping power bill costs. The move is aimed at reducing the huge expenditure of around ₹ 1 crore being incurred by the temple towards electricity bills for consumption of power by the whole temple complex, around 18 cottages, and 140 rooms in choultries, annually, sources said.

The temple authorities have already initiated the process of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Hyderabad-based solar energy systems company for setting up a rooftop solar power plant as per the guidelines of the Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation (TSREDCO) in the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) mode. In this zero-investment model, the agency concerned will take up the responsibility of installation, maintenance and repairs of the plant for 25 years and the temple has to pay for the solar power consumed, sources added.

When contacted, the Divisional Engineer of the temple Ravindranath told The Hindu that an agreement to set up a solar power plant at the temple in the RESCO mode is in the advanced stage of finalisation. The proposed plant is expected to generate 400 MW energy from the solar panels to be mounted on the rooftops at the temple complex, he said. The move is expected to offer multiple advantages such as significantly reducing the expenditure on power bills by harnessing the green energy and environmental benefits, he remarked. It will help cut down electricity bills by at least 30% (₹ 30 lakh) per annum.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 8:35:58 AM |

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