Anantapur: Anantapur Municipal Corporation (AMC) will be the first ever municipality to produce solar energy. The AMC has been consuming nearly 5 MW electricity every day for pumping water and operating streetlights and pays an average of Rs 46 lakh towards electricity bills every month.
The solar project is the brainchild of AMC commissioner K. Neelakanta Reddy.
During a review meet on the debts to AP Transco, he said, “When the entire nation is promoting alternative sources of energy, why can’t we try solar energy as Anantapur has a sunny climate.”
Mr Neelakanta Reddy told this newspaper the AMC authorities have chalked out a solar energy project which is ready for implementation.
The proposed project is designed to produce 5 MW from around 25 acres of land near the Pandameru canal area.
“The entire project is estimated to cost Rs 40 crore excluding site and other requirements,” Mr Neelakanta Reddy said, and added that nearly 40,000 solar panels would be installed at the project sites to produce solar energy in the district.
The authorities sought nearly Rs 60 crore for the project, an average of Rs 12 crore for a MW.
The power produced would be connected to the grid of AP Transco at JNT University on the outskirts of Anantapur.
Simultaneously, the AMC would use the power for water schemes and streetlights covering the entire corporation area.
“The pipeline drinking water project at Kudair would also be covered under the solar project under a MoU with the AP Transco,” sources said.
Briefing about the project to get clearance and loan from the Ministry of Renewable Energy Sources, the commissioner hoped the loan could be repaid through the savings made on electricity bills which amount to about Rs 46 lakh every month.“In just seven years, the entire loan can be repaid. The AMC can save money during the next 15 years,” he said.