TERI ENVIS, sponsored by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, has done a Case Study on The Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib’s initiative as Largest Solar Energy Project in Rural Institutions. This case study has been published in ‘Compendium of Renewable Energy and Climate Change Case Studies in India – Volume 5’.
The 97-year old Shiromani Panth Ratan Baba Iqbal Singh Ji, President of The Kalgidhar Society, who had been working with nature throughout his tenure with the Himachal Agriculture Department, emphasized the adoption of the more economic and green option of solar energy to reduce the huge electricity bills and parallel fight against the global warming. The vision was to utilize the vacant rooftops of the schools to harness the sun to enhance sustainability and reduce carbon emission as much as possible to save Mother Earth. A total of 3750 solar panels were installed for the 1.2 MWp project. A total of approximately 1.3 lakh square feet of the rooftop is covered under this project.
The adoption of solar at The Kalgidhar Society was initiated a decade ago with projects like Himachal Pradesh’s first stand-alone 200 kWp solar power plant, 18,000 LPD solar water heating system, concentrator thermal solar system for community cooking to feed 5500 people every day, SPV street lights, and many more solar systems at Eternal University in Himachal. This solar wave spread to many academies and numerous solar plants were installed. The efforts of The Kalgidhar Society were recognized and honoured by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) with a solar award in 2016 along with the certificate of appreciation from the power minister of India.
This solar PV project will reduce 35,000 metric tonnes of carbon emission over 25 years, which will be equivalent to planting 82,000 trees. Annual savings in power bills are expected to be around 1 crore. This Solar Project can help in uplifting rural education and shine the lamp of education in underprivileged families of rural India. The organization aims to install solar panels in all its 129 schools to enhance its efforts towards brightening the education lamp in a more sustainable and greener environment.