Bescom drags its feet, BU solar energy goes waste

This delay by Bescom authorities has cost the university around Rs 2 crore in electricity bills for the last 10 months though it has a solar plant on its premises.

It’s been almost a year since Bangalore University set up a solar power plant at its Jnanabharati campus but it is unable to use the power generated as Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) is yet to give the university the permission to use it. With this, 499 kV of power has been going waste every month.

This delay by Bescom authorities has cost the university around Rs 2 crore in electricity bills for the last 10 months though it has a solar plant on its premises. Expressing unhappiness over Bescom’s delay, Bangalore University vice chancellor Prof K R Venugopal said, “It is not just a matter of saving money. The authorities at Bescom should realise that the energy produced at our solar plant is going waste.”

However, Venugopal said he will personally meet the Bescom managing director in a day or two and discuss the matter.

“Officials from our engineering department are in constant touch with Bescom officials, but they have not yet started the process saying the set-up needs to be inspected and are unnecessarily delaying the permission,” said Venugopal.

Calls and texts by DH to Bescom MD C Shikha went unanswered.

The solar plant is set up in association with the Union Ministry for Renewable Energy through a company which is shortlisted by the Union government.

With the existing setup and MoU signed between the company and the university, the plant will produce 499 kV of power every month where 300 kV is needed for the university at a cost of Rs 3.84 per unit while conventional power supply costs Rs 7.2 a unit. The remaining 200 kV will be sold to Bescom and will fetch the university revenue.

Saves Rs 20 lakh

Meanwhile, this alternative source of energy at the campus will help the university save at least Rs 20 lakh a month. According to data available from the university, its  monthly electricity bill is around Rs 20 lakh.

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