In recent years, the Centre has been laying considerable emphasis on promotion of renewable energy for its environmental benefits.
CHANDIGARH: If all goes according to the plans of the ministry of new and renewal energy (MNRE), City Beautiful will be on green energy by the end of 2018. After the selection of Chandigarh for development as a model solar city, MNRE directed Chandigarh administration to make the city 100% renewable energy powered. The project deadline is the end of 2018.
In recent years, the Centre has been laying considerable emphasis on promotion of renewable energy for its environmental benefits. Since Chandigarh does not have its own power plant, it buys power from Central generating stations such as Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Bhakra Beas Management Board, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN). Power allocation from each station is fixed for one year, while the deficit is met through an unallocated quota and short-term power purchase.
Chandigarh electricity department caters to more than 2 lakh consumers with an annual energy consumption of around 1,600 million units (MU). The present peak demand of the city is around 400 megawatts (MW), of which around 202 MW is procured from different stations generating hydroelectricity while 60 MW is purchased from thermal power plants. Around 10 MW is purchased from nuclear power stations. At present, around 68% power is purchased from hydro stations, while 2% is solar. The remaining power comes from thermal and nuclear power stations. Hydroelectricity is renewable while thermal and nuclear power are non-renewable.
CEO, Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) Santosh Kumar, who attended the meeting in which the ministry issued these directions, said the administration plans to replace thermal and nuclear power with wind energy. “The administration has already started the process and has moved an application to the ministry to provide 50 MW of wind energy,” said Kumar.
BOX: UT preparing master plan
The Chandigarh electricity department is also preparing a master plan for proposed yearly growth of renewable energy, with short, medium and long term targets fixed for 2022, 2026 and 2030. The department has floated a tender to hire a consultant to prepare a plan for which budget of Rs 30 lakh has been earmarked.