To reduce the electricity bill in various government schools, the West Midnapore district administration has decided to install solar panels in around 507 schools across the district under the 'Aloshree' scheme initiated by the state government.
The district administration decided to install solar panels after it found that one of the schools had a huge electricity bill pending. The administration had held meetings with various school authorities in the district to discuss the development of alternative energy sources and had also reportedly written a letter to the Chief Minister urging her to bring such schools under 'Aloshree'.
Following a nod from the state government, the district administration is taking an initiative to install solar panels in schools so that they can satisfy their own energy requirements.
Under the 'Aloshree' project, the state Power department has already been installing solar panels on the roofs of various schools, colleges and office buildings to create an alternative source of energy that would help the institutions to produce their own power by using sunlight.
A senior district official said if solar panels could be installed in schools, it would dramatically reduce the electricity bills of the institutions. Cheques will soon be distributed to the schools for setting up the solar panels.
Further, the state Power department has already taken up a volley of projects to make use of non-conventional energy sources. The solar panel project will be undertaken in various phases.
About a thousand schools across the state will be covered under this project for which the state government will be spending Rs 43 crore in the current financial year. Solar panels are being set up at various places already.
The state Power department also plans to use the energy from the solar panels in the pumped-storage hydroelectricity projects at Ajodhya hills.
In fact, in some districts, energy is already being generated through solar panels.
In a major development, the 10 MW Canal Bank Solar Photo Voltaic
(PV) project has come up at Haptiagachh in Uttar Dinajpur at a cost of Rs 65.88 crore.
The project has been constructed by the state-owned West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL).
According to senior officials of the Power department, Bengal is a pioneer in setting up canal bank solar PV projects in the country.