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OU goes solar
The officials working at the newly constructed stores block of the examination branch of Osmania University no longer have to worry about power cuts, thanks to the 30 KW solar power, which is providing the necessary back up. Prof K Pratap Reddy, registrar,
Three centres in the campus - University College of Science, Examination branch and the VC’s office have gone solar
The officials working at the newly constructed stores block of the examination branch of Osmania University no longer have to worry about power cuts, thanks to the 30 KW solar power, which is providing the necessary back up. Prof K Pratap Reddy, registrar, Osmania University, puts it n the perfect perspective with, “The installation of solar power will reduce the burden and minimise power charges. The return on investment would be accrued in seven years.”
The total cost of the solar plant is Rs 26.75 lakh after a 30 per cent subsidy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The project was initiated by R Nageshwar Rao, the then director of the varsity’s infrastructure wing. Set up six months ago, the benefits are already being felt already, says a senior official at the examination branch, who said that it has resulted in a noticeable increase in productivity. The officials are not able to quantify the savings on power bills as the university gets a centralised bill although they are trying to procure the generation data since the time the new operations began.
The OU Controller of Examinations, Prof. Bikshamaiah, says that with 25 years warranty and very low maintenance, solar power ensured long-term viability as against erratic power supply that had to cope up with all these years.
Apart from the examination branch, the University College of Science has also been solar powered. Prof. V Sudarshan, Principal says, “Even a two-hour load-shedding could hamper work especially in the science departments, here labs need constant supply.” The science college has a 5KW plant that has been set at a cost of Rs 6.7 lakh.
There are 18 departments under the University College of Science housed separately in 15 independent buildings. “At present only the office is solar powered but over a period of time all the departments would go solar in a phased manner.”
The Vice Chancellors office has also been solar powered with a 3KW plant. On whether the University would sell the surplus energy to the grid, a senior official said that at present it is an off-grid system but in the next five to six years when many more buildings in the university turn solar, there would be a possibility as the utilisation would be less on weekends and the evenings.