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State Assembly, Victoria Memorial to go green!

Following in the footsteps of Raj Bhavan, it’s now the turn of the state Assembly and Victoria Memorial to switch to solar energy. The move comes following the Centre’s decision to install solar panels in all heritage buildings across the country.
However, the process will not be an easy one. “The state Assembly and Victoria Memorial are heritage buildings and installation of solar panels there is not easy. Raj Bhavan had enough flat surfaces for the panels so we did not face much problems. We have devised a thin-film and flexible cells, considering the architecture of the buildings,” said the CEO of West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation (WBGEDC), Mr SP Gon Chaudhuri. He was speaking on the sidelines of a solar technology meet in the city on Thursday.
However, a proper assessment of the buildings will be done before the plan in put into action, he said. Survey work has already begun in the state Assembly, which consumes power worth and estimated 200KW.
Switching to solar panels will bring down the consumption by at least 50 per cent. Following an assessment of the Assembly building, the report will be sent to the state government, which in turn will release funds for the project. Installation of solar panels in the Assembly is expected to be complete by March, 2011.
Victoria Memorial is next in line, following which Viswa-Bharati is all set to turn green.
The Centre has already promised 75 per cent of the funds needed to install solar panels in Victoria Memorial, added Mr Gon Chaudhuri. The WBGEDC has recently completed a UNDP project to assess unused roofs of many buildings in the city for setting up solar panels and many institutions are opting for solar power.
Mr Gon Chaudhuri said that Bethune College authorities have already approached the WBGEDC for installation of solar panels in its premises and the project has also been started in Gurudas College.
Earlier, solar panels were installed at Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose’s ancestral house in Falta to encourage more heritage buildings to switch to renewable energy resources to reduce the use of conventional energy sources.
“There is a shortfall of 10,000-12,000 MW power in India and the six metropolitan cities have the potential to supply 7,000 MW power if the rooftop project is implemented. Kolkata alone has a potential of generating 1,000 MW,” Mr Gon Chaudhuri said. At present, the state produces only 15 MW of solar power.
The WBGEDC is also planning to acquire 400 acres of land in Purulia to set up a solar infrastructure unit with an investment of Rs 1,200 Crore. Zilla Parishad and district administration will also be involved in the project. The unit will initially produce 100 MW that can go up to 400 MW.
Cell and module manufacturing unit will also be set up in Falta, Durgapur and Haldia. Mr Gon Chaudhuri said six companies ~ Webel, Moser Baer, Reliance Industries Ltd, Synergy Solar (P) Ltd, Astonfield and Videocon ~ have shown interest in making solar modules in the state.

Victoria takes up green revolution
Soma Basu

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