Solar panels on rooftops to power Delhi govt buildings

The Delhi government is ramping up its efforts to generate solar energy. In a city cramped for space, the Environment department has approved nine projects on rooftops of government buildings, which is expected to generate at least 240 Kilowatt peak (KWp) of power before the end of this year. The rooftop projects include Vikas Bhawan II in Civil Lines and four government schools and hospitals.

Department of Environment director Anil Kumar told Newsline that of all projects, the largest — a 100 KWp project — has been sanctioned on the Vikas Bhawan II rooftop. "The Ministry of Renewable Energy (MRE) and the Delhi government have approved the project. The tender process, through the Public Works Department (PWD), is expected to be completed by March 1," Kumar said. Vikas Bhawan II in Civil Lines houses a number of government departments.

According to the Environment Department, four hospitals and four schools run by the government would also boast of similar projects. "The idea behind this scheme is that these buildings will be able to run solely on power generated through solar energy from the rooftops. We hope to include more government buildings under similar schemes soon," said Sanjeev Kumar, Secretary, Environment department. Each school is expected to generate 10 KWp, while each hospital will generate 25 KWp.

Taking into consideration the low availability of land and high real estate rates in Delhi, the government chose to install solar panels on rooftops. "Though we have an obligation to generate solar energy, it is difficult in a city like Delhi where land is limited and comes at a premium. After much consideration, we decided to make use of rooftops of government buildings," a senior official said.

According to Kumar, the Delhi government and the MRE will fund the project. "Through schemes available as of now, the MRE will fund 30 per cent of the projects and the Delhi government will fund the rest," Kumar said.

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