Solar rooftops a must-have for Kolkata New Town highrises

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) on Saturday took a stride forward to turn Rajarhat-New Town into a solar city. It has made it mandatory for all commercial and residential highrises to install solar rooftop systems to meet at least 2% of the buildings’ electrical load requirement.

Debashis Sen, chairman cum managing director of Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco), said that all upcoming commercial and housing establishments like schools, colleges, hospitals, housing societies and government establishments will have to meet the requirement.

“A proposal will soon be sent to the government to introduce necessary amendments in the building rules,” he said, adding that the decision was taken at Saturday’s board meeting.

According to the plan, all multi-storied buildings in Rajarhat-New Town have to meet around 1.5% to 2% of their electrical load requirement through solar power. The buildings also need to be energy intelligent which will minimize the use of conventional electricity. Regulators, on the other hand, will fix the feed in tariff rate for using solar power.

Last year, the Centre had earmarked the township as ‘Solar City’. It was then that Hidco received approval from the ministry of non-conventional and renewable energy to go ahead with the plan to use solar power in the township.

The government has already formed the New Town solar city committee to prepare concept plans. “To be a solar city, at least 10% of the power the township uses will have to come fromsolar energy and through conservation of energy. The Centre has already sanctioned Rs 50 lakh of the total Rs 2.5 crore it has approved,” said solar energy expert SP Gon Chaudhuri, chairman of the committee and former advisor to the state power department.

Gon Chaudhuri said that elements such as solar water heaters, solar streetlights, solar staircases and green building are all part of the idea.

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has decided to make it mandatory for all high rise commercial and residential buildings in Rajarhat New Town to install solar rooftop systems to meet about 2% of their electrical load requirement. A formal proposal would be sent to the state urban development department to make necessary amendments in building rules.

The decision was taken at NKDA’s board meeting on Saturday. Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) chairman-cum-managing director Debashis Sen said that all upcoming large commercial and business establishments, schools, colleges, hospitals, large housing societies and government establishments will have to meet the requirement. “A proposal will be sent to the government very soon for necessary amendment to the building rules,” he said.

The plan is that all large multi-storied buildings in Rajarhat New Town have to meet around 1.5% to 2% of their electrical load requirement by installing solar systems on rooftops. The buildings will be energy-intelligent, minimizing the use of conventional electricity and using solar energy as far as possible. Regulators will fix the feed in tariff rate for using solar power.

Earlier last year, the Centre earmarked Rajarhat New Town as ‘Solar City’. Hidco received approval from the ministry of non-conventional and renewable energy to go ahead with the plan to use solar power in the township.

The government had earlier formed the New Town solar city committee to prepare concept plans on how New Town could be developed as a solar city. “To be a solar city, at least 10% of the power the township uses will have to come from solar energy and conserving energy. The Centre has already sanctioned Rs 50 lakh of the total Rs 2.5 crore it has approved,” said solar energy expert S.P. Gon Chaudhuri, chairman of the committee who is also former advisor to the state power department. Gon Chaudhuri said that elements such as solar water heaters, solar streetlights, solar staircases and green building are all part of this concept. Apart from the standard areas like street lighting, entertainment and community lighting where solar power is used, two more aspects – energy efficiency and green buildings have been included to broaden the solar city concept.

Hidco has been working to develop the use of solar power in New Town. Already, a long stretch of the major arterial road has been lit up with LED streetlights. More such lights will be installed on various roads in the township. The authorities have also been planning to introduce battery-run three wheelers to run on short routes.

Source: TOI

About Ritesh Pothan

Ritesh Pothan, is an accomplished speaker and visionary in the Solar Energy space in India. Ritesh is from an Engineering Background with a Master’s Degree in Technology and had spent more than a decade as the Infrastructure Head for a public limited company with the last 9 years dedicated to Solar and Renewable Energy. He also runs the 2 largest India focused renewable energy groups on LinkedIn - Solar - India and Renewables - India
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