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KOCHI: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has released the first installment of funds for the project for developing Kochi into the first Solar City of the state. As per the Government Order issued the other day, `19.42 lakh was allotted to Kochi for the development programme. The amount allotted, as per the order, should be used for the preparation of the Master Plan for the project within a year along with few DPRs (detailed project reports)that can be implemented. The reports should be submitted to ANERT(Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology), which will be implementing the project.
As per the plan, the Centre will provide a total of `48.84 lakh for the project which will be mainly used for the preparation of the Master Plan, oversight of implementation of the project, setting up of Solar City Cell and its functioning for three years and for other promotional activities.
The project mainly aims at installing solar energy systems to power streetlights, garden lights, households, hotels, restaurants and major administrative offices, thereby making Kochi the first solar city of the state. It is being launched as part of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s(MNRE) plan to develop 60 solar cities in India.
The programme also aims at 10 per cent reduction in projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, which can be achieved through a combination of energy efficiency measures and enhancing supply from renewable energy sources.
Last month, the Kochi Corporation authorities, convened a meeting of various stakeholders in City’s development, including Ernakulam District Residents Association Apex Council (EDRAAC), Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Agricultural Department, Cochin Port, Indian Navy and Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss the draft Master Plan of the Solar City project prepared by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, (ICLEI). After incorporating the opinions put forth by the stakeholders at the meeting, the draft report was presented before the MNRE.
The Solar City programme is coordinated by Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed), an agency under the Kochi Corporation.