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Web Exclusive | July 2013

Delay in developing Chandigarh into a Solar City

Chandigarh was to be developed into a Solar City by 2012 with solar panels put up in 24 gardens. But the UT administration deviated from the plan prepared by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in 2008 and now finds itself installing solar cells atop government buildings five years after being chosen by the ministry of new and renewable energy for the coveted status. UT environment department has written to the Municipal Corporation (MC) to start with installations in green belts and gardens.

UT administrator Shivraj Patil said the Solar City project was a priority agenda for the administration and would be pursued aggressively. TERI, in its pre-feasibility report submitted in 2009, proposed the concept of ‘Solar Trees’ for those locations where installation of solar PV (photo voltaic) based power plant on ground was difficult. The objective was setting up of a 25 mw grid connected solar PV power plant.

The report said each ‘Solar Tree’ would be around 12 m (metres) in height so as to clear all full grown natural trees and have a platform of about 12 m x 12 m size on the top and this platform would have octagonal shape. This platform, the report pointed out, was to be used for mounting solar modules. These ‘trees’ were planned as the basic building blocks of the proposed solar photo voltaic system.

In the proposed design, the modules were to be mounted on ‘Solar Tree’ in the horizontal plane facing south direction with an inclination of 280 to the horizontal. The proposed inclination was equal to the latitude of Chandigarh (300 N). This orientation would have optimised the solar energy falling on the surface of the modules, the report said.

A total of 12 large gardens and parks with area more than 18 acres had been considered for the project. Chandigarh is located in the sunny belt of the country. The annual ambient average temperatures is obtained as 21-22 degrees celsius.

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