Punjab’s Akal University has commissioned a 1.2MWp solar power project, which would generate more than 80 per cent of power requirements of the university and 13 Akal academies. The project has been built at a total cost of Rs 5.2 crores, including a subsidy of Rs 1.7 crores from the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy.
The power project was inaugurated by Managing Director of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), Jatindra Nath Swain, IAS. Swain said that the project, which is the largest for any rural education institution, displays the forward thinking of an educational organisation such as Kalgidhar Society.
He further added that SECI has made a great progress for the vision of 100 GW by 2022. “Solar power generation is a measure of sustainability and I’m happy to see that Kalgidhar Society is harnessing the sun for making education system more sustainable. Along with Solar, we also need to pay attention towards water conservation and rain water harvesting to tackle the problem of climate change.”
The new solar power plant is expected to reduce 30,000 metric tonnes of carbon emissions over 25 years, with annual savings worth Rs 1 crore in power bills. JP Singh, Solar Consultant for the project, said, “The carbon reduction impact of the project during its lifetime is equivalent to planting of 82,000 trees, which will add to conservation of energy and environment.”
The Kalgidhar Society has so far set up a total of 59 solar power plants at Akal academies in the region, in order to meet its energy demand from clean fuel.
Dr. Davinder Singh, Secretary of Kalgidhar Society, said, “The society is known for its sustainability approach, green initiatives, and solar village at Baru Sahib campus, and has commissioned this particular project in 14 locations, including Akal University. The Kalgidhar Society was bestowed with the Solar Award in 2016 by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.”
Swain was accompanied by Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, Dr. Davinder Singh, Secretary of Kalgidhar Society, and Dr. Gurmail Singh, Vice Chancellor of Akal University.
Akal University Talwandi Sabo is run by the Kalgidhar Society headquartered at Baru Sahib near Rajgarh in Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh. The Kalgidhar Society, is presently running 129 Akal academies and three universities in rural areas of in north Indian states of Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.