In a significant step towards promoting clean energy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday declare Modhera, a village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district, India’s first solar-powered village, the state government said.
Patel said that once again Gujarat has taken the lead in green energy and the state is committed to producing 50% of India’s energy requirements through renewable energy by 2030.
The central government and state government started the ‘Solarization of Modhera Sun City and Temple’ project to provide 24/7 solar energy through integration with BESS at Sujjanpura in Mehsana, almost 6 km from the famous temple of the sun.
“Through this project, Modhera is the first village in India to become a net renewable energy generator,” according to the Gujarat government statement.
Solar village of India
People will save between 60% and 100% on electricity bills with this project, according to the statement.
For this one-of-a-kind project, the state government allocated 12 hectares of land. The GOI and the state government have spent nearly Rs 80.66 crore on a 50:50 basis in two phases: Rs 69 crore in Phase I and Rs 11.66 crore in Phase II, the state government said.
More than 1,300 1 kW rooftop solar systems have been installed on village houses to generate electricity during the day. At night, the BESS would supply power to homes. Thus, there would be an uninterrupted supply of power (24/7) for the entire town, including the Temple of the Sun.
According to the 2011 census, Modhera village in Becharaji Taluka has a population of 6,373 people.
The Gujarat government allocated 12 hectares for the development of the project. The Center and the state spent an amount of ₹80.66 crore in two phases.
More than 1,300 rooftop solar systems of 1 kW capacity have been installed on houses generating electricity in the village. Daytime power is supplied through solar panels. At night, the BESS provides electricity to the houses.
First modern village
The statement described Modhera as the first modern village with an ultra-modern solar-powered electric vehicle charging station. Another distinction of this project is that it is India’s first grid-connected megawatt-hour scale battery energy storage system.
The heritage lighting and 3D projection of the Temple of the Sun will also be solar-powered. The 3-D projection will educate visitors on the history of Modhera. This projection will run for 15-18 minutes overnight. Electric vehicle charging and parking infrastructure have also been created in the temple complex.
“The use of solar energy has increased prosperity among citizens. Power bills were around 1,000 rupees. Now the electricity bills have been reduced almost to zero. Solar panels have been installed on every feasible house, free of charge. In case of excess power, we also get additional income,” said Jatanben Thakor, Modhera village sarpanch.
India is adamant about taking the clean and green energy route. Its goal is to bring its non-fossil power capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
“We are committed to fulfilling his (Modi’s) resolution to produce 50 per cent of India’s energy requirements through renewable energy by 2030,” Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said.
This commitment was one of five expressed by Modi, as part of his five-piece “panchamrit” to combat the climate crisis, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, in November last year.
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