At a time when the world is fighting Climate Change and exploring alternative ways to generate energy, Tezpur University is prioritizing the use of renewable energy for generating electricity for its buildings and classrooms as a part of its sustainable campus initiatives.
The University considers five thematic areas i.e. energy, water, waste, natural ecosystems and sustainable building for its mission towards sustainable campus, varsity authority said a statement.
In order to develop Sustainable buildings (also known as green buildings), the University has installed 1000 kWp rooftop grid connected solar power plant under Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) scheme for government buildings under RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) mode and has effectively replaced 24% of the monthly electricity consumption of the University during October 2018-July 2020 period.
“The University purchases electricity from Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) at the rate of Rs. 6.60/kWh, whereas the solar power plant generated electricity cost is Rs. 2.42/kWh”, it means solar rooftop scheme is much cheaper than buying electricity from commercial rates”, said Sadhan Mahapatra, associate professor, Department of Energy, who is associated with installation of rooftop grid at the University as the coordinator.
Currently, the power plant is installed at 15 building roof spaces at the University. The total electricity fed into the University grid during October 2018 to July 2020 is 1968345 kWh.
The monthly average electricity generation from the plant is 89470 kWh. The maximum generation in one day is 5938 kWh/day and the average daily generation during this period is 2949 kWh/day. The maximum generation was 112149 kWh in the month of August 2019.
The University also reduces 1614 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emission due to solar power generation during this period.
“Solar roof top projects are focused to solar systems installations on rooftops of residential, commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. The roof top solar power projects have several advantages like savings in transmission and distribution losses, low gestation time, reduction in electricity bill and battery eliminations reduced the system capital cost etc.”, Mahapatra added.
“Tezpur University is the first Academic Institution to initiate the installation of MW (megawatt) Scale Rooftop Grid connected Solar PV power plant in the entire North Eastern Region of the country. The University entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the developer- Arunachal Pradesh Power Corporation Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi for 25 years period at a flat tariff of Rs. 2.42/kWh during 2018 for installation of the power plant,” Biren Das, Registrar of the University said.
“Currently, out of 15 buildings, where the solar power plant is installed, 11 buildings net electricity consumption are nil or these buildings can be named as Electricity Neutral Buildings”, Das added.
Under the Paris Agreement, India has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 33 to 35 percent below 2005 levels and to achieve 40 percent of its electricity generation from non-fossil sources by 2030.
“The University is glad to be part of Nation’s commitment at Paris Agreement and National Solar Mission (A Ministry of New and Renewable Energy initiative), which has taken policy initiatives under National Action Plan for Climate change of the Government of India to promote solar power. We are committed towards the nation’s commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas emission by using renewable sources of energy”, Mahapatra said.
Two most adopted business model in solar industry are RESCOand Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) model.
RESCO model based projects are financed, owned, and developed by third party or developer. The developer installed the project at the consumer’s rooftop.
The developer operates the plant and sells the energy to the consumer on consumption choice like roof leasing or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Tezpur University has adopted the RESCO model.