The Irrigation Department and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) are turning sunward to slash power bills.
The KWA will collaborate with the Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) and the Irrigation Department, with the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) for establishing solar power projects, it was decided at a meeting convened by Water Resources Minister K. Krishnankutty on Tuesday.
As part of the initiative, the Minister inaugurated a 25-kW (kilowatt), grid-connected solar power plant at Jala Bhavan, the KWA headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, on Tuesday. In Thiruvananthapuram city alone, the KWA has three other solar power projects under construction.
This include a 100-kW project atop the KWA water tank at Thirumala, a 100-kW plant at Attukal and a 60-kW project atop the tank at Observatory. KWA has provided administrative sanction for ₹2.83 crore for establishing the solar projects.
At present, the cash-strapped KWA is spending ₹23 crore every month on power bills alone. In fact, the KWA owes the KSEB approximately ₹1,500 crore in electricity charges. The government-run water utility plans to install similar solar power plants in its buildings in other districts also.
The Irrigation Department plans to install solar panels on its project sites across the state. The Minister on Tuesday instructed officers to prepare a detailed project report in consultation with the KSEB.