Himachal developing solar-powered cities


Shimla : Himachal Pradesh has developed a master plan to promote non-conventional energy and is developing solar-powered cities, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said here Saturday.

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“Shimla and Hamirpur towns are being developed as solar-powered cities,” Dhumal said at a state-level function to mark Akshay Urja Divas or non-conventional energy day to commemorate the 68th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

He said more cities and towns would be included in the energy conservation scheme.

“Two energy parks are also being developed in Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry in Solan and the National Institute of Technology in Hamirpur,” he added.

The state’s first solar energy plant of 200 KV capacity has been set up at Baru Sahib in Sirmaur district while 216 police posts would soon be getting 2 KV solar power plants.

The chief minister said a proposal to install 8,564 solar street lights has been sent to the central government for approval and this would benefit 250 gram panchayats (rural civic bodies).

He reiterated the resolve of the government to accord high priority to non-conventional energy generation by making optimum use of solar, wind and biomass energy.

An official said solar panels would be installed in most government buildings in Shimla and Hamirpur for lighting and heating.

US-based Bergamo Acquisition Corp is also aiming to tap solar energy in the state by setting up a mega solar thermal power plant with an investment of $400 million near Baddi industrial area in Solan district.

The state government distributed compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to every household free of cost last year. This has resulted in saving of about 270 million units of power worth Rs.100 crore in a year.