The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) plans to become country’s first solar city by 2021 for which it will soon install a floating solar plant besides solar panels atop its 52 school buildings in the city.
SMC’s unconventional energy generation department will install a 100KW floating solar power plant in Gopi Talav soon. NTPC has such a plant in Kerala. “It will reduce SMC’s electricity bills and also create mass awareness about solar energy,” said an SMC officer.
This year, SMC has launched a campaign to make campuses of 52 school out of total 234 schools run by Nagar Prathmik Shikshan Samiti (NPSS) environment-friendly. Solar panels would be set up atop these schools which will generate power and supply it to a 200KW plant. The solar power would light up LED bulbs and run fans on the school campuses.
SMC has installed rooftop solar plants with capacity of 5MW on 37 of its properties in the past two years. It produces 79 lakh units of electricity annually this way which helps it to save Rs6 crore in electricity bill.
Surat needs to generate 418MW of solar power to become a solar city by 2021 under the National Solar Mission. The city has already achieved the target of 5MW given to it. SMC produces 11MW of solar power from panels installed atop residential and commercial buildings in the city. Solar power generation by the civic body will rise to 25MW by the year-end.
“The targets are stiff but we expect to achieve them in four years with people’s support. We will then be in top three cities in the country that generate solar power,” the SMC officer said.