The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will take a step forward in the Solar City project by launching a pilot project involving putting up of solar streetlights in the city.
BMC recently became a part of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) project to turn 60 cities across the country into solar cities. The pilot project on solar powered streetlights has been conceptualised by BMC and is supported by the Science and Technology Department and Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA).
Under this project solar powered streetlights will be first put up in the stretch between Delta Square and OUAT Square and AG Square to Acharya Vihar subsequently.
“The pilot project will first check the feasibility of the project. In cities like Ahmedabad, both the wind and solar energy have been tapped successfully. The weather condition in Bhubaneswar is best suited for tapping solar energy,” said a senior BMC official. BMC presently pays to the tune of Rs 50 lakh as its electricity bill for the streetlights only.
“The major purpose of setting up solar energy based streetlights is to reduce consumption of electricity, dependence on fossil fuel and to take advantage of the abundant availability of solar energy,” said a senior BMC official.
According to the target set under the Solar City project, by 2020 around 10 per cent of the street lighting in the city should use solar power. The BMC officials are planning to start by adding one per cent solar streetlights in the city in 2013. According to the statistics presented by BMC officials, around 1,000 square feet land is needed for the solar panels to produce one megawatt electricity. One megawatt of solar energy can power streetlights across a stretch of 25 km.
“If one megawatt solar energy is produced, then the energy consumption by the streetlights will be brought down by 15-20 per cent,” explained a BMC official.
Other than being beneficial for the environment, the solar powered streetlights will also help BMC realise its target of reducing power consumption.