In a major initiative, the Navodaya Vidyalayas, which have been providing education for years in rural areas, would now be able to light the houses of rural households through solar power. According to senior officials of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), more than 250 Navodaya Vidyalayas would soon start producing 19 MW solar energy through rooftop solar PV system. The forte of the initiative is that electricity produced through rooftop solar PV would be much cheaper than conventional electricity, the officials claimed.
“The move was initiated to tap the potential of solar power which is more economical and available in abundance in comparison to conventional sources of energy,” the official said, adding that tenders were invited for the installation of rooftop solar PV on Navodaya schools across the country. “The NVS has finalised the tenders for 264 Navodaya schools by selecting the bidder offering the cheapest electricity rates. The selected agencies would install solar panels at the rooftops of Navodaya schools and electricity produced out it would be used for meeting the power needs of schools,” the official said.
“Following the completion of rooftop solar PV installation work in all Navodaya schools, total solar energy production would reach 40 MW. The agreement with agencies would be valid for 25 years,” the official said, adding that the excessive power would be transferred to grids.
The proposal for the cheapest electricity has come from Himachal Pradesh, which has agreed to provide electricity produced out of it at Rs 2/unit, while Bihar has proposed to provide electricity at Rs 4.97/unit which is expensive than others. Notably, Navodaya schools, which are residential, were started during the 80s to provide better education in rural areas. Currently, there are 598 such schools in the country.