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Corporation to save Rs 22 lakh a month with solar panels atop buildings

As part of the Smart City Mission, the Chennai Corporation plans to install a network of solar panels, inverters, and bi-directional net meter in several corporation-owned buildings leading to saving about Rs 22 lakh a month on electricity bills once all 662 buildings have solar panels fixed.

Of the 460 buildings with solar panels installed, six of them are said to have begun harnessing power.

The solar panels project received the approval last August but it has been on back burner for many years.

The Communicable Diseases Hospital in Tondiarpet will get panels with the maximum capacity of producing 100kW — the largest among all corporation buildings. The capacity of solar panels installed atop the new corporation zonal office building in Manali, Ambattur and Amma Maaligai, Ripon Buildings, are 78kW, 60kW, and 53kW.

Solar panels utilize solar energy to generate direct current (DC), inverters are used to convert DC into alternating current (AC). Bi-directional net meters are procured from Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) to be installed along the buildings for redirecting the generated power to the grid.

“The average monthly energy generation from these panels will be 3.6 lakh units,” said an official involved in the project, who added that the civic body has written to Tangedco for procuring net meters for the remaining buildings. The project is being implemented at a cost of Rs 24 crore including a five-year maintenance period.

The target set by the state in 2012 through the Solar Energy Policy to generate 3,000MW solar energy by 2015 was not achieved.

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