Clean Power

Published on February 25th, 2013 | by Mridul Chadha


South Indian City Of Anantapur To Go Solar And Save $1 Million Every Year

February 25th, 2013 by  

The municipal corporation of Anantapur in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is set to become the first municipality in the country to set up a solar power project to power its water pumping operations and street lights. The impressive plan includes installation of 5 MW of a solar PV project in the city. The project will be connected to the state’s power grid and will power the water pumping and street lights of the entire municipality’s area.

Solar panels via Waynenf (some rights reserved)

Solar panels via Waynenf (some rights reserved)

Anantapur is blessed with significantly high solar energy resource and has already attracted investment from project developers under India’s famous Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

The project would require an investment of $11 million (Rs 60 crore) and would include installation of nearly 40,000 solar panels. The municipality currently consumes 5 MW on water pumping operations and powering the street lights. This entails an average electricity bill of $1 million per year.

With the new 5 MW solar PV project, the municipality will be able to power all these operations with clean energy and save $1 million every year. The total cost of the project would be recovered in 11 years and the municipality will then earn profits for about 14 years, assuming the life of the power plant is 25 years. Additionally, the project will also offset over 180,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the 25 years of its life.

The municipal authority hopes to secure financial assistance from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. The authority will repay loans from the ministry in seven years through the savings achieved in electricity bill payments.

The state of Andhra Pradesh suffers from tremendous demand-supply mismatch in the power sector. The industries in the states have been facing the brunt of the low supply of electricity and are forced to cut production significantly. A large number of power plants in the state use natural gas as fuel and the supply of natural gas, too, has fallen significantly across India.

Solar energy presents a highly logical solution to the poor power situation in the state. The state government recently offered project developers tender to set up 1,000 MW of solar power capacity. The tender received an overwhelming response with developers offering to install up to 1,340 MW of solar power projects.

The views presented in the above article are the author’s personal views only

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.

  • jindalsolar
    The Energy saving solar street lighting system is a self-sufficient, independent lighting system that eliminates the need to construct buried electrical supply trunks that are typical in conventional street lighting systems. It provides night illumination and security for places too costly to set up cabled lightnings.

    A solar street light system consists of solar photovoltaic modules, LED Street lamp, light controller, a lamp post and an weatherproof equipment cabinet. Our solar street light is capable of providing 10 to 14 hours of illumination per night.

  • JustSaying

    I guessing thier water storage is to small also. Since if the tanks help a whole day worth, you would fill them off peak (night) in order to smooth the demand curve. Don’t get me wrong add lots of PV, but don’t forget the other ways to address the demand/supply mismatch.

  • John Coller

    How are they storing the power for the street lighting?

    • Ronald Brakels

      Looking at the linked article, I would guess that solar is powering the streetlights in an accounting sense. The solar capacity supplies power to the grid during the day and then draws it back at night.

      • Yes, I think that’s exactly the case. Looking at the capital cost of the project mentioned in the article, it is clear that it does not include the cost of storage.

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