'Soura' solar energy project catches on: Applicant's number cross a lac

Palakkad:   Kerala State Electricity Board's (KSEB) 'soura' Project to generate power from solar energy has been winning overwhelming response.  Soura is a project jointly to be run by home or building owners and KSEB to generate energy from solar panels atop the roof.  The cost of the project will be borne by KSEB.  The number of applicants for the project has by now crossed a lac.

The project was launched on 14 July,  but owing to the floods,  it did not enjoy sufficient publicity.  However,  registration has picked up considerably in the last one month.  As the rush increased,  the project deadline was extended from 31 December to 31 Jan 2019.  The goal is to generate 500 megawatt (MW) power from the roof of homes and buildings including government buildings through this project.

Through projects like Solar Energy Park, Floating Project and Highway Project,  the overall plan is to generate 1,000 MW.   Three schemes are included in the project.  One,  10 per cent of the total electricity generated will be given free to the owner of the house/building.  Maintenance will be totally done by KSEB.  Two, The owner will be supplied with as much electricity as he wants at a fixed rate for 25 years.  Total cost and maintenance will be borne by KSEB.  Three,  the investment has to be by the owner,  which is estimated at Rs 45,000-60,000 per KW electricity.  The excess electricity can be supplied to KSEB.   Maintenance will be borne by KSEB. 

Application for the schemes can be  made online via website sourakseb.in until 31 Jan 2019. 

The government's  target  is to generate 10,000 megawatt electricity from solar energy .  From roof-tops alone,  500 MW is estimated.  To produce one KW electricity,  the thumb measurement required is a space of 10 square metres,  and 10,000 square meters (2.47 acres) for 1 MW power . 

Beneficiaries will be selected from applicants after a feasibility study.   Buildings with tiled roof will not be considerred.

A project to utilise solar energy in agriculture sector has also been launched.   The initial plan is for those who switch to solar energy for pump sets in Palakkad and Chittur region, where there is a higher density of  paddy cultivation.   For farmers using pump sets of capacity from 2 HP to 5 HP,   the model envisages 60 per cent subsidy,  30 per cent bank loan and 10 per cent beneficiary share.   They also have the option to supply the excess power after own use,  back to KSEB grid.

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