Over 150 remote habitations to be electrified

CHENNAI NOV. 1. The State Government has taken up a special solar power project at a cost of Rs. 15 crores, the Electricity Minister, D. Jayakumar, said today.

Under the project, 154 remote habitations would be electrified, using solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems. Further, local bodies would install about 1,000 SPV streetlights this year, availing themselves of the Central Government's subsidy, Mr. Jayakumar said, presenting national awards for excellence in energy management at a function organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Referring to the State Government's efforts at promoting non-conventional sources of energy, the Minister said a programme had been proposed for establishing biomass-based power plants for 300 MW in the next two years. In the initial phase, 31 projects for 200 MW had been selected for issue of permission. The State achieved no.1 position in the country in wind power development with an installed capacity of over 1,100 MW. On energy conservation, Mr. Jayakumar said energy audit for high-tension industrial units had been extended to 583 establishments, saving about 175 million units of power per annum. The Chief Minister constituted an expert committee to coordinate and monitor implementation of energy audit.

The Minister gave the award, `excellent energy efficient units' to 16 companies and `energy efficient units' to 14 others.

The chairman of the CII (southern region-SR), K.K.M. Kutty, expressed the hope that the State Government would take steps for efficient operation of the power sector in line with the Electricity Act. He detailed various measures taken by his organisation to make the Indian industry competitive to face challenges from multinationals in the wake of opening up of the economy.

G. Jayaraman, chairman of the award panel, said about 30 companies were shortlisted out of 130 establishments and they represented different fields such as automobiles, cement, paper, steel and refineries.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board chief, K. Gnanadesikan, suggested to the CII that it bring small and medium enterprises too under the award scheme. K. Vasudevan, chairman of the CII (SR)'s Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, and L.S. Ganapati, co-chairman of the award committee, spoke.

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