Batting Solar to level up the Green Game.

Make power while the sun shines seems to be the new adage these days. The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in Bengaluru set the trend in this regard with successfully coming up with the global first solar powered cricket stadium.

Insights…

A 400 kW rooftop grid interactive power plant with over 1422 units of photo voltaic modules of poly-crystalline technology is spread radially along the 4500 sq ft area on the eastern wing of one of the best high sporting crowd stadiums — We have witnessed the power packed, enthusiasm charged stadium during the RCB matches, haven’t we ??

The project tender was awarded to 3 decade old MROTEK, a data networking and solar solutions company after an evaluation of tech competence amidst stiff competition which commission the project in just 50 days.

Bird’s Eye View of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium

The plant is strategically planned with extreme safety measures. Special mounting structure with mild steel are taken radially along the roof with small gap between the roof and solar panel frame to reduce uplifting, parallel to roof slope.

It has a suitable firefighting system and central monitoring which detects fire/ smoke and enunciate an audio alarm. The plant is also equipped with a weather monitoring system and lightening arresters.

Money talks…

The plant generate 5.9 lakhs units per year, sufficient to power 200 AEH (All Electric Homes) using 3KW. This power is used to lit up the entire stadium except the high intensity flood lights. KSCA, which used to get a monthly electricity bill of around Rs 10–11 lakh, now pays around Rs 6 lakh with net saving of 5 lakhs.

KSCA made a one-time investment (Rs 3.68 crore, according to the KSCA’s annual report), the returns are phenomenal. They have already saved around Rs 1 crore (over the last 3 years) and with the way the power rates keep going up, they will recover their costs soon.

The entire system is monitored by SCADA ( Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) , to access the performance and power generated by these solar panels and generate daily and weekly reports for frequent reviews. Not just this, the entire system is powered by the BESCOM Grid under the Net Metering policy, under which KSCA would pay only for the net of power generated and power consumed. In case of excess solar power, supplied to BESCOM, then the utility will pay KSCA as per the power purchase agreement.

KSCA has a net monthly savings of Rs 5 lakhs which is Rs 60 lakhs annually which can be used for other sporting and maintainence expenditure. This is just the savings, The Power Company pays you for the extra energy harnessed and over time, this would mean that the debt you paid for the solar panels would pay off as additional income as the return on investment. Solar plant not only uses renewable energy but also drastically reduces the carbon emissions.

Every rupee saved is a rupee earned.

Going more green …

Reaping benefits from this initiative, KSCA plans to set up similar solar plant on the western wing of the stadium and in addition to stadiums in Hubli, Belguam and Shimoga which are under its control. After M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, we have SCA in Rajkot which has started its green league.

M S Dhoni inaugurating the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium Solar Powered Plant

The Solar panels need not always be mounted on the roof — they can, in fact, become the roof itself, making the stadium more secured from harsh weather conditions. Associations such as the Maharashtra Cricket Association and Hyderabad Cricket Association are keen on such initiative — most parts of their stadiums don’t have roofs.

Solar energy saves two types of green, the environment and your money. Although the initial investment can be high, the long term savings for your wallet and the environment could easily trump this initial investment. The longevity of panels, tax deductions, and general savings make solar panels the best alternative to traditional energy.

Go Solar …

Nature has blessed us with abundant solar energy and it has become increasingly important for us to harness it as fossil fuels continue to deplete. Interestingly, Solar panels on river beds / canals have high efficiency over the conventional power plants. Stadiums are the places that use electricity in abundance and installation of solar plants in cuts down the electricity usage by a gargantuan amount.

Solar is just not a solution but responsibility of our environment.

Presented by Kiran Ramesh

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