Setting an example on utilizing non-conventional energy, Raj Bhavan has been tapping solar energy for its lighting requirements. The AP Raj Bhavan is the third in the country after Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat to initiate solar energy utilisation for the governor bunglows (Raj Bhavans). Raj Bhavan had installed solar power packs of 41.05 units (KWp) capacity atop various blocks in March 2012 to cater to the power needs of lighting load requirements at the premises. Solar energy has been taking care of power needs of nearly 70% of buildings on Raj Bhavan premises, while the conventional energy is being used in buildings like the Durbar Hall, as the heritage building has a weak roof. Apart from the lighting needs at the different buildings, streetlighting in Raj Bhavan was being replaced with induction lights and solar lights with green lighting system.
Raj Bhavan officials said the installed solar system generates 190 units per day. The Raj Bhavan, on an average, consumes nearly 150 units per day, which works out to 4,500 units per month. Considering the new tariff, as it comes under the slab of about Rs seven per unit under the conventional system, the monthly saving works out to about Rs 33,750 per month and Rs four lakh per annum. “The solar lighting was installed at a cost of Rs 96 lakh funded under the Special Area Demonstration Project scheme in April 2011project,” N Ramesh Kumar, principal secretary to the governor, told reporters on Thursday. Apart from the solar energy, the Raj Bhavan has also taken up water harvesting in a big way. Ten water harvesting pits were dug up at different locations on the sprawling Raj Bhavan to arrest flow of storm water. Until the pits were provided, the storm water used to drift towards the road, inundating the main road up to the rail track at Makta as the Raj Bhavan is located at an elevated position. Now, the problem has been solved, the officials said. “The governor believes it is the bounden duty of all citizens to conserve water and tap solar energy,” the principal secretary said.