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Monday, April 15, 2013

UoH opts for solar power to cut costs


Hyderabad: Hit hard by regular power cuts and steep electricity bills, authorities at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have decided to opt for solar power to tide over an impending crisis. As a start, it has set up a solar plant that will power the Indira Gandhi Memorial Library, one of the largest libraries in the country. Authorities said they would extend the facility to other buildings as well.
    Inaugurating the first solar plant on campus on Sunday, vice-chancellor Ramakrishna Ramaswamy said the varsity is planning to set up a 9 MW power farm in a phased manner in order to reduce expenses towards power charges. “The unusable area near high tension power lines will be utilised to set up a 9 MW capacity solar power farm,” he said.
    Authorities would need to spend around Rs 6.6 crore to set up a power 
plant generating 1 MW, but in the long run, the shift to solar power would drastically reduce monthly electric charges of Rs 1 crore, officials said.
    The vice-chancellor said that the first plant was set up for the library as the building requires power round the clock and most students use the air-conditioned reading halls till late at night. Frequent power cuts had become a hin
drance, especially during the summer. “The library consumes about 600 units of power per day, costing the university Rs 1 lakh per month towards power charges. The solar plant provides uninterrupted and stable power of 500 units per day and the whole system will last for a minimum period of 25 years,” he said.
    UoH, which has around 5,000 students on campus, utilises 13 lakh units of electricity per month to run its hostels, academic buildings and other residential buildings. Further, the university also runs many generators and UPS systems as back-up for power supply to overcome the frequent power cuts in its laboratories and academic buildings.
    The new solar power plant is one among the many developmental measures taken up on the campus recently. Authorities had earlier taken part in energy conservation and nature support measures, including setting up of a solid waste management plant on campus.(tIMES OF iNDIA)

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