The municipal corporation is exploring solar power to cut expenses incurred on electric bills. In its latest green initiative, the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has installed 20 solar panels at College Square. This is in addition to those installed at some prominent city parks, including Deshapriya Park, Deshabandhu Park, Mohini Kunja in Behala and Patuli Upanagari Udyan. Explaining the process, a source in the CMC said that the solar panels generated electricity, which was then sent to the CESC power grid. In return, power from the grid lit up the parks. “We are not storing the power being generated at College Square. We are passing it on to the CESC grid,” said a CMC engineer. Asked why power harnessed at CMC parks was being transferred to the CESC, the engineer said that would have required installation of batteries to store the electricity. “Apart from eating up park space, it would have required more investment. We didn’t want that,” he said.
He said on an average the facility at College Square was generating six kilowatt of electricity every day. “The production peaks during summer and drops during monsoon. On an average, roughly 6KW of electricity is generated every day round the year,” he said.
The panels — each of which produces 300watt of electricity — have been installed in a way that they receive on an average four hours of sunlight every day.
“We supply the electricity to the CESC grid during daytime and it is sent back when we need it. So the electricity we use comes conventionally from the CESC, but at the same time we are also producing solar power,” the engineer said.
He said that solar power generated at College Square was more than what is consumed there or at other parks. This, he said, had reduced the CMC’s power bill.
“What we pay to the CESC every month is for the difference in power supplied to them and the amount we consume. In case, the supply is more than the consumption, the CESC pays us,” the engineer said.
Talking about sharp drop in power bills, a source in the corporation said: “The CMC used to pay Rs 40,000 every month to the CESC to light up Deshapriya Park. After installation of solar panels the expenditure has dropped to Rs 8,000,” the official said..
Source: Telegraph India