President Pranab Mukherjee today inaugurated the first phase of a solar power project in the President’s Estate that would generate 670 kilowatt electricity for the sprawling premises.
Under the project, seven rooftop solar panels have been installed with an investment of Rs 2.23 crore on separate buildings in the President’s Estate in a record time period of four months.
“This is the future order which we are establishing today. It is a pleasant occasion for me to be the part of this initiative aimed at generating solar power,” Mukherjee said. The President said that in India, more than 300 million people are deprived of electricity and to provide them electricity is a challenge.
“We must conserve energy so that the needy gets their share of power. Whenever there is need for development, energy is required and if a section does not get energy, it remains backward. Electricity must be conserved and utilised in proportion of the requirement so that it could also be provided to the needy.
“India has signed Paris Climate agreement to limit the use of fossil fuels and carbon emission. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is the need of the hour. We have enough quantity of solar energy which must be utilised.
“Renewable energy is good for our climate as it reduces carbon footprints. This will make the President’s Estate more energy efficient. We have an aim to generate 100 gigawatt renewable energy by 2020 which must be achieved,” Mukherjee said.
The solar panels have been installed on the roof of seven buildings which include market area, sewage treatment plant, museum, Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, motor garage and cultural centre.
Around nine lakh unit of electricity would be generated from this green project. There is a system which enables 24/7 monitoring of the quantity of electricity generated from the solar panels.
Omita Paul, secretary to the President, said that the sprawling President’s Estate spends Rs 20 crore every year on its electricity bills. With the establishment of these seven solar panels, Rs 85 lakh would be saved per year. On this occasion, school children presented a ‘Nukkad Natak’ (street play) on the theme of energy efficiency and solar power. A green exhibition was also organised in which models of energy conversation was displayed by school children.
A skill and career counselling programme was also inaugurated by Paul for girl students of Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya at the President’s Estate.