Tree cover, says the civic body. Over 100 buildings identified by the Chennai Corporation have been found unfit for solar power generation due to extensive green cover on the premises.
“Solar panels atop buildings need steady stream of sunlight from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. But huge trees block sunlight, in at least 100 buildings of the Chennai Corporation. We cannot cut trees to tap solar power. Pruning of tree branches will not work either,” says an official.
There are around 3,000 buildings maintained by the Corporation. Of them, 800 do not have shade on the rooftop and that will facilitate optimum solar power generation.
However, the civic body has been planting saplings on all of its premises to increase tree cover in the city, and so, is caught between its two ‘green drives’.
Buildings of the Corporation have the potential to commission solar plants with a capacity of 18 MW.
“Most of the proposed solar plants in ward offices can generate 2 kW or 1 kW power. The proposed solar plant in Ripon Building annexe can generate enough power to light up two floors,” says the official.
In the first phase, the Corporation has given work orders for commissioning 90 kW solar power plants on the rooftops of 60 of its buildings, before the notification of the Lok Sabha polls. Work on one building in Royapuram has been completed.