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Solar energy to power Himachal Pradesh University

SHIMLA: To move towards harnessing eco-friendly sources of energy and to reduce dependence on electricity from the state power corporation, the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) is planning to set up a solar power plant on its campus. The 50 kilowatt (KW) solar power captive unit will be set up soon, said the HPUdean (planning) Professor PKAhluwalia, confirming the varsity's move.

Prof Ahluwalia added, "This Rs 1.30 crore venture will help us to cope with the increasing power demand and enable the varsity be energy efficient. The varsity has managed to set aside Rs 15 lakh to be spent on the project while we are also seeking 90% subsidy from the ministry of non-conventional sources of energy to set up the solar energy plant. The project is likely to be implemented in next three months."

The dean further said a member of parliament (MP) has donated two solar power panels for the girls' hostel. "These solar energy assets will be helpful in tackling increased demand in the hostels and supply water to hostel areas, laboratories and buildings in the campus besides illuminating street lights and other lights," Prof Ahluwalia said.

According to sources the varsity accommodates nearly 1,900-2,000 students in 14 hostels for girls and boys. Electricity is consumed round the clock in hostels to heat water and run appliances which often lead to inflated bills.

As per HPU officials, the varsity had been looking for alternative sources of energy since long and such a project was proposed to curtail huge electricity bills. They added that the Vision Document 2020 of HPU envisages creating infrastructure in environment-friendly manner and energy efficient resource development, and projects like the solar power plant are aimed to realize that vision.

The Times of India (11-06-2013)