Trichy: Trichy’s first solar power park at Panjappur, the work on which was completed about six months ago, is yet to start electricity generation pending approval from the Tangedco. The smart cities mission project, which will reduce the operational and maintenance cost of Trichy Corporation by selling electricity to Tangedco, is idle at present and seems to be delaying the expansion plans.
The plant was set up by the corporation under the non-conventional electricity generation proposal on the Trichy-Madurai NH near the sewage treatment plant at Panjappur spending Rs 13.50 crore. The work, started in December 2019, was completed in December 2020. The 2.4-MW power plant, having around 7,200 solar panels affixed on 1,440 foundations installed at a depth of 2 metres, will supply electricity to the Crawford substation of Tangedco. Even the subsurface transmission lines between the solar power park and the substation for a length of over 2 km was installed.
While the facility was to start generating electricity by January 2021, sources confirmed that the park is idle, while the corporation is spending money for maintenance. For the purpose of cleaning the dirt accumulated in the panels, the civic body has dug four borewells on the site.
The electricity generated from the 13-acre solar plant will be fed to the power grid. In return, the corporation will get equal compensation, while paying its electricity charge. The civic body sources said that they are awaiting approval from the non-conventional energy sources wing of Tangedco to start electricity generation. “Due to the pandemic, there was a slight delay in obtaining the approval. We are at it to start electricity generation,” an official with Trichy Corporation said. Meanwhile, the delay in commissioning the solar power park also derails the progress of phase II of the solar power park proposed on the adjacent land. Around 26 acres of land was identified on the Madurai NH for the 7.2-MW expansion plant. Officials attributed the delay to the Covid-19 pandemic.