KOCHI: An ambitious project to self-sustain Cusat in power use is hanging fire though the space for setting up the same has been identified on the varsity campus itself. The proposal is for a solar facility capable of producing 1 MW of power on four acres on the eastern side of the main campus and adjacent to the new Stratosphere-Troposphere (ST) Radar facility for weather forecasting. The varsity already is spending Rs 25 lakh on power bill in every two months and in addition to that the ST Radar facility is set to cough up an energy bill of over Rs 1 crore per year.
The 1 MW facility will be able to meet both requirements of Cusat, and the varsity will be able to save hugely on power bills once it is ready. According to officials, the cost of solar panels will come to Rs 7 crore. “Considering the returns in the medium to long term, this is a very profitable investment, and the university and the state government need to push the project together. We already have identified the land,” said an official. The registrar has submitted the proposal to the KSEB, and the State Government has the scheme to provide 30 percent subsidy on such projects.
“Union ministry of new and renewable energy too has assistance/subsidy schemes for such projects and the university can secure it. There are agencies like KSEB, ANERT or CIAL having the technical expertise for execution,” said the official. The state government was approached by Cusat last when Kadakampally Surendran was the power minister. There was no major push after that. When contacted by this newspaper, Cusat vice-chancellor Dr J. Letha said the project had not moved forward. The university can sell any excess power produced to the grid of KSEB.