The Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) owns a trade fair complex, constructed on a 40-acre patch near Coimbatore city. The trade body would like to install solar panels on the roof of this building and around it, and generate as much solar power as possible, said M.V.Ramesh Babu, honorary secretary, CODISSIA.
If all goes well, CODISSIA will take its plan to the 5,200 member industries, hoping to raise funds for the project, Babu said. The project could serve as a model for others to copy in the Coimbatore district.
“Our officials have visited solar farms in Gujarat and collected data related to investments required. We are not done with data gathering. When we are ready we will present our plan to CODISSIA members. We have ideas but we do not have funds,” Babu said. CODISSIA could avail government subsidies and borrow money from banks but it will still need funds of its own to execute the project, he said.
10 to 14-hour power cuts are common in Coimbatore because the Tamil Nadu state is suffering a 4,000-5,000 MW power deficit, Babu said.
“Power cuts could increase to 18 hours a day, some ten days from now, when wind power generation drops.” Heavy winds across Tamil Nadu, that power wind turbines generating electricity, are expected to subside around October ever year, Babu said
For now, industrial units have to rely on expensive diesel generators to power their operations. The cost of power shoots up to Rs. 20 per unit because of this, Babu said. “We have written to the state government to waive off value added tax on diesel purchases by industrial units. Running gensets would be more viable then,” Babu said.