Power from above: Mosque in Mumbai to slash bill by ₹30K
Taqwa Masjid in Byculla has joined the growing list of religious institutions in the city to switch to solar power for electricity generation. The seventh mosque in Mumbai to make the switch, the mosque recently installed a 25-kilowatt power (kWp) solar plant at a cost of ₹14 lakh.
The switch was made as a long-term solution to the hike in electricity bills owing to an increase in the number of electronic appliances used in the premises. Taqwa Masjid’s solar plant will generate 95.8 units daily and 35,000 units annually. Comprising of 72 panels, electricity is generated from a single inverter.
Muhammad Sohail Shaikh, chief operating officer (COO) of MSS Greentech, which set up the plant at the mosque, said, “Mosques that operate on a larger scale can afford to switch to solar power plants. For a small mosque like the Taqwa Masjid, the trustees have done a great job.”
According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a 25-kWp system mitigates carbon dioxide emissions by 769 tonnes over 10 years, which is equivalent to planting 1,230 full-grown teak trees.
The mosque is running 90% on solar energy, which comprises 25 kWp out of 28 kWp every day and aims to reduce the electricity bill from ₹33,000 to ₹3,000 every month. “We will receive free electricity for 20 years once we recover the cost by 2021-22, which will help us save money in the long run,” said Imran Sahab Taqwa, trustee, Taqwa Masjid.
Any amount of electricity produced by Taqwa Masjid in excess will be sent back to the local power gird and the units will be credited, since it’s a net-metred project set up by MSS Green Tech.
Ajay Marathe, 61, environmentalist, said, “Any other power generation, apart from solar energy, requires burning and releasing of gases such as carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, nuclear energy has safety concerns. Solar power plants doesn’t require anything, as it is an independent source of energy.”
Minara Masjid at Mohammed Ali Road was the first mosque in Mumbai to go solar, followed by Zakaria Masjid in Masjid Bunder, Jama Masjid in Kalbadevi, Madarsa-e-Mohammadiya in Agripada, Hakim Dayam Masjid near JJ Hospital, and Jama Masjid in Bandra.
“After a lot of struggle and putting religious figures in the limelight, the concept of going solar has now been accepted by the entire Muslim community. Many other mosques are also installing solar plants,” said Shaikh
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