Solar power to brighten Sabarimala

Project is being established with the technical support of CIAL

With a view to confronting the rising power cost, a new source of renewable energy is now rising on the horizon of Sabarimala.

The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has embarked on a mission to turn power neutral with the commissioning of a two megawatt solar power plant on the holy hillock. The project is being established with the technical support of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), a pioneer in megawatt scale solar projects.

According to TDB president N. Vasu, the project envisages installation of solar panels on the large and shade-free rooftops of various buildings at the Sannidhanam. The switch to green energy makes good sense not only environmentally but economically as well.

“The solar plant will cater to the power needs at the Sannidhanam, while bringing down the mounting electricity bills, which currently stands around ₹10 crore a year. The consumption of power at Sabarimala has come down significantly due to COVID-19 shock but considering the diminishing financial profile of the TDB, cutting down such additional costs will be of great help,” he said.

The distribution and transmission of power in and around Sabarimala pilgrimage zone is currently entrusted with Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).

As part of implementing the project, a technical team from CIAL visited the Sannidhanam last month for a feasibility study. According to Managing Director of CIAL S. Suhas, the agency is slated to submit the report by the last week of September.

The feasibility study will be followed by a detailed project report (DPR) and works on the plant is slated to be completed in a year.

Official sources said the TDB was looking to implement the project through sponsorships from business groups and had already kick-started consultations in this direction. A couple of business groups, which are based out of Kerala, are learned to have evinced interest in supporting the project, they added.

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