IIM-Trichy Takes The Lead In Renewable Energy

IIM-Trichy, among the newer IIM's in the country, has stolen a march over peers, with its 2 MW solar plant

Indian Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli (Tiruchi) inaugurated its 2 MW solar plant early this month. With this, the country’s 11th IIM became the first to have such a large scale solar plant to power its campus.

Started in 2011, IIM-Tiruchi took support from the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) by securing a ₹ 14.2 crore financial assistance to set up the 2-megawatt solar power plant.

The plant was finally inaugurated by Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, Chairman, Managing Director, REC Ltd.

The plant has delivered savings of over 70 percent on the institute’s monthly power bills, at Rs 7 lacs, after evaluation. It’s a figure the institute expects to go up significantly, as formal classes in the institute restart, increasing the power load requirements. A 2 MW solar plant should could potentially deliver around 240,000 to 250,000 units per month for anyone in the region. For IIM -Trichy, paying commercial rates to the state discom, cost savings could easily cross Rs 12-15 lacs per month accordingly.

It has long been a contention of this publication that all large government funded educational institutions need to be mandated to shift to solar where they can. Not only is the financial case stringer than ever, there is also the issue of thousands of government schools that are still getting very poor quality of power.

Institutes of eminence, like the IIT’s and the IIM’s, besides large central universities, have been granted generous swathes of land that could be put to much better use by adding solar power where possible. At New Delhi’s IIT for instance,  total solar plants of over 1 MW have been installed to support its energy needs.

The increasing autonomy, including financial autonomy that these institutes enjoy today makes the case for an even faster transition. Importantly, these institutes, with well off alumni who will be only too happy to support the right initiative, can also work to tap into that segment to get the same funded. Indeed, it is surprising that more of these  haven’t done it already.

By Arrangement with Saurenergy.com

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