NMMC goes solar, moots state’s first floating solar power project
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation is taking steps to make the city carbon neutral by installing solar panels on its buildings, including schools and public toilets. It has also proposed a floating solar power project and a hydro project, which are expected to cut the civic body's electricity bill by ₹20 crore annually. Reputed power companies have shown interest in the projects, and the corporation plans to call for tenders in the next 15 days.
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is taking serious steps to cut carbon emissions in the city and make Navi Mumbai a carbon neutral city. It has begun plans to install solar panels on the roofs of buildings owned by it and these include the civic schools.
NMMC has also proposed the state’s first floating solar power project of 100 MW capacity at Morbe dam along with a hydro project of 1.5 MW capacity.
The civic body has decided that all new buildings under construction will have solar panels at their rooftops. As for the existing buildings, the ward offices that receive direct sunlight on their roofs will have the solar panels installed. It is planning to install them at Koparkhairane and Airoli ward offices along with the new ward office coming up at Kukshet village.
Of the 55 civic schools in the city, the engineering department has prepared a plan to install the panels on the roofs of 10 schools for now. NMMC has so far installed solar panels on two of its schools. The one installed at Chhatrapati Rajshri Shahu Maharaj school in Rabale has been commissioned.
The solar panels have also been planned on the roofs of 50 public toilets, work on which has begun.
The solar panels will cater to the needs of electric power in the buildings thereby saving crores of rupees of the civic body in electricity bills.
Said Sanjay Desai, NMMC city engineer, “NMMC has been taking various measures to cut carbon emissions in the city for which it has even conducted a carbon footprint audit this year to help it achieve its objective of a carbon neutral city. The primary audit report has been received by the civic body while work is on the final report.”
He informed, “NMMC has received funds under the National Clean Air Programme of the 15th finance commission. The solar panels on the civic buildings, schools and public toilets, will be installed accordingly from the finance available from it.”
Meanwhile, reputed power companies have shown keen interest in the civic body’s floating solar power project and the hydro power project, which has been proposed on a BOT basis. To be completed in three phases, 40 MW solar power installation has been planned in the first phase. NMMC is expected to get electricity at around ₹4 per unit. The two projects are expected to cut the civic body’s electricity bill by ₹20 cr annually.
Speaking on the status of the project, Desai said, “We are going for re-tender of the project due to the change in government policy. MERC now requires a minimum 26% equity of the owner in such projects. As per earlier plan we were not planning any investment in the project, but that will have to change now.”
He stated, “We have worked out the details and plan to call for tenders in the next 15 days.”