State-run ANERT launches ambitious project to make TVM largest solar city in India

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Thiruvananthapuram: Thiruvananthapuram will soon become one of the largest solar cities in the country with a Kerala government agency on Tuesday launching an ambitious project to turn every rooftop in the state capital into a solar energy-producing station.

The Kerala government-run Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT) today opened a three-day expo, where the public can see, learn about, and purchase various solar energy systems to implement the central government scheme that was launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The solar city project aims to meet all power requirements of a city from renewable energy sources. In Thiruvananthapuram, we have identified the potential for the production of 800 MW solar energy. We have identified three lakh buildings suitable for installation through the creation of a solar atlas," Narendra Nath Velluri, Director of ANERT, told PTI.

Solar panel installations have already begun in 600 government buildings out of which 150 were commissioned on Tuesday, Velluri said.

He added that the remaining government buildings would be commissioned within one or two months.

The official said if people come forward to install solar panels on the three lakh private buildings identified, 700 MW of solar energy could be produced.

"The remaining 100 MW can be produced using solar street lamps and through government institutions. Solar panels help consumers become 'prosumers' (producing consumers) as their electricity bill could be zero and they could earn money by supplying power to the grid," Velluri said.

A 3 KW solar system can take care of the entire power requirement for an average household. "A 3 KW solar system can cost between Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh. The central government will give a subsidy of 40 per cent for the 3 KW system. So, one can install a 3 KW solar system for Rs 1.6 lakh," he said.

ANERT has also included bank stalls in the expo to avail of loans for solar system purchases.

"The state government is responsible for the implementation of the project. The Kerala government is also incentivising those who opt for the renewable energy option by owning up to four per cent of the interest on bank loans to purchase solar systems," Velluri said.

Recently, PM Modi declared Modhera, a small tourist town in Gujarat, with just a 10 MW production potential, as a complete solar town. "Thiruvananthapuram is going to be the first one to implement this on such a large scale. Gandhinagar in Gujarat is also taking this up at the same time," he said.

In other districts, there is already a 'Sourya' scheme that is already rolled out to attract people to install solar energy panels on their house rooftops.

Anybody can also avail of the subsidy and install solar panels by registering themselves on the national portal created by the central government for the purpose. PTI

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