The Odisha government has approved the proposal for installation of rooftop solar panels in all government establishments in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack cities under the public private partnership (PPP) model. Tthe move is aimed at reducing the ever-increasing power bills of government offices, besides encouraging green energy in the state.
The government has directed the Green Energy Development Corporation Ltd (GEDCOL), the implementing agency, to sign agreements with International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector funding arm of the World Bank Group that has agreed to finance the project.
“The state government has been pleased to approve the proposal for implementation of solar rooftop project in the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar,” said Sangramjit Nayak, joint secretary in the Energy department in a letter to managing director of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd (OHPC).
The OHPC should now take necessary steps to sign an agreement between GEDCOL and IFC for implementation of the project at the earliest, he added.
GEDCOL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OHPC, was set up recently for development and maintenance of carbon-free energy in the state.
In October last year, the state government had decided to set up solar lighting systems in all government offices from 2013-14.
The project also mandates that solar heating systems should be installed at all government-run hotels and guest houses to cut down on power bills.
In the first phase of the project, the government has decided to use the rooftops of government offices, agencies, directorates and state PSUs at Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Later, the scheme will be planned for other districts.
The state government had recently announced the newly floated GEDCOL as the nodal agency for on-grid solar energy projects in the state while entrusting off-grid generation like solar cooking, pumping, refrigeration, heating and industrial process to the Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA).
While the state at present generates 8 MW of solar energy, it has plans to produce at least 80 MW in the next three years.
In order to boost solar power production in the state, the government has decided to formulate a solar power policy to streamline the utilization, management and production of solar energy.