Irumbai Solar Village project, a special joint research and study project of TEDA and Tangedco, seeks to demonstrate that rural areas could tap solar resources to provide 24x7 uninterrupted power supply. As per the proposal, the project envisages the study of energy conservation and efficiency measures with a total capacity of 170 kilowatt solar plant connected to the existing Tangedco low-tension distribution network of the village located near Auroville in Villupuram district after making necessary modification in the distribution network.
The project was proposed in 2015 but it did not take off owing to bureaucratic hurdles including wanting for a no objection certificate for setting up of the solar panels on the land belonging to the Animal Husbandry, said sources associated with the project.
Martin Scherfler, co-founder of the Auroville Consulting, an environmental consulting firm, said that members of his team have already installed energy-efficient fans in Irumbai village to keep homes cool and disease-carrying mosquitoes at bay. “It is a pilot project. Once the TEDA awards contract, the solar panels will be installed with all other infrastructure in place, “ he said.
A senior TEDA official said that with the awarding of the contract, the solar plant along with other civil works would be completed in 90 days. “Even after the solar power plant is installed, the village will remain connected to the Tangedco grid and excess power generated from the solar plant will be supplied to the grid. We have decided to install a 170 kw plant which is two times the village power demand of the Irumbai village, ” he said, adding that already energy-efficient appliances like LED bulbs and fans have been installed in the village households to reduce the power demand by half.