The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has become the first among 12 major ports in the country to go completely green, without depending on external sources for energy and water and extending green cover in its sprawling premises, say port authorities.
“The daily power requirement of about 26,000 units for the port operations, including the residential colony, is being taken care by solar power generated from about 5.2 MW plants,” said NMPT chairman P.C. Parida. He said no other port had yet become self-sufficient in power.
NMPT’s tryst with solar power began after the Centre asked major ports to go green in 2015. It started with a 350 kW rooftop power plant in April 2016, followed by a 4 MW ground-mounted photovoltaic plant on a sprawling 14 acres. It is in the process of commissioning another 840 kW rooftop power plant, Mr. Parida told The Hindu.
At the end of the year, the port might face a shortage of 50,000 units of power in all. While it has spent about ₹33 crore on solar plants, the annual saving in power bill comes to about ₹5 crore apart from social benefits, Mr. Parida noted. It used to buy power at ₹9 per unit from MESCOM while the cost of solar power comes to about ₹2.8 per unit.
NMPT’s Superintending Engineer (Electrical) Haleshappa, who executed the projects, said that the ground-mounted plant was the first of such projects in the region. The 4 MW plant has come up at Peacock Garden, in NMPT residential colony. As many as 16,608 solar panels of 256 Wp have been erected on the ground, while the power generated is converted to alternating current and synchronised with MESCOM grid at 33 kV voltage level, he said. The annual CO2 footprint savings is estimated at 3,700 tonnes. The contract for solar plants includes their maintenance by the contractor for a period of 10 years, he added.
Mr. Parida said public sector undertakings can produce more solar power and feed it to the grid if the government offers land free of cost on lease. NMPT is prepared to invest on solar plants if the land is given and sell the power to power supply companies, he said.
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