State to help Uzbekistan channel solar energy
KOLKATA: Uzbekistan has sought cooperation from the Bengal government to harness solar power. A delegation led by Uzbekistan's ambassador, Farhod Arziev, met Sobhondeb Chattopadhyay, state Power minister, at his state Assembly chamber on Thursday to express their interest in Bengal's roadmap for using solar power.
"They have sought our technological expertise after being informed about our progress in the field of channelling solar energy. We also handed them over some documents related to the work done by us. A team comprising power experts and officers from Uzbekistan will soon be meeting me and my team," said Chattopadhyay. Santanu Bose, chairman of West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd and a few other officials from the department were present during the meet.
A power department official said: "Uzbekistan uses around three percent solar power while we use around four. In the next 18 months, we will bring about a radical change in the solar energy scenario." He then disclosed: "We have plans to introduce solar power in as many as 1,000 institutions across the state."
The state government has already come up with a 10 MW solar plant at the Teesta Canal Bank, which was inaugurated by CM Mamata Banerjee.
"We are coming up with another 10 MW solar power plant atop Teesta Canal," informed the minister.
Banerjee has been emphasising a lot on channeling solar energy through the "Aloshree" project. A number of solar plants are being set on the rooftops of various government offices across the state under this project. Asutosh College in South Kolkata has made a point by installing a 20 KW solar power infrastructure in their campus.
The state Water Resource Investigation and Development department is also planning to use solar power for irrigation. At present, farmers use electric pumps for irrigation in Bengal.