Know About This Kerala Villages Cost-Cutting Power Generation Model That Is Inspiring Tamil Nadu Panchayats

Image Credits: Unsplash and Unsplash (representational)

The Logical Indian Crew

Know About This Kerala Village's 'Cost-Cutting' Power Generation Model That Is Inspiring Tamil Nadu Panchayats

In face of recurring power challenges seen in Tamil Nadu, a team of 37 panchayats from the state have been studying and taking inspiration from a Kerala village that has resolved the power issue with a simple model.

While many states continue to struggle with staggering power supply networks, a panchayat in Kerala's Thrissur district has been setting a model that comes up with a solution to an alternative power generation and distribution system. Through collaborative efforts of the Kerala state electricity board (KSEB) and a few rooftops of the village households, they resolved a problem that has been plaguing numerous villages.

Taking inspiration from the village, a team of 45 officials, including panchayat presidents and local body authorities, from neighbouring Tamil Nadu are now looking into the possibilities of adopting the 'Perinjanam model'.

What Is The 'Perinjanam Model'?

Perinjanam first introduced its rooftop solar power project in the year 2016 and became among the first few villages in Kerala to be solar-powered. The panchayat had installed solar power panels and a system to connect the generated electricity to the KSEB grid in 747 houses.

By 2019, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had inaugurated a 500-kW solar power project in Perinjanam, and since then, the power generation has kept increasing in the village as more households began participating in the project. The panchayat president K K Satchith was quoted by New Indian Express saying, "In Perinjanam, 127 families from financially poor backgrounds were provided loans from cooperative banks," which can then be paid back after a set period under low-interest rates.

About four years into it, the panchayat generates 1.16 MW and uploads it to the KSEB grid, while the villagers are getting paid by KSEB for the excess power generated after consumption.

The power bills paid by over 120 families had come down from ₹90,000 to ₹30,000, and more participants were brought under the project over time. Government upper-primary schools in the village had 9.5-kW solar power plants installed using the CSR fund.

The panchayat lit up even more with 750 street lights that ran on solar power-generated electricity and is being maintained by the all-women self-help group, Kudumbashree. Not only has it addressed the energy concern, but it has also created employment opportunities and collective social responsibility through the initiative.

It also happens to be a sustainable solution to a long-term problem as it has managed to bring down carbon emissions by 1.92 lakh kilograms.

Building Up On Inspiration

President of the Odanthurai grama panchayat in Tamil Nadu, P Thankavel, had recently visited the houses in Perinjanam and poured in praises for their efforts. His interest in replicating the Perinjanam model in his panchayat soon brought in a team of 37 panchayats who have been looking for a solution for an uninterrupted power supply.

Prior to this, representatives of a Tamil-Nadu-based environmental group, Poovulagin Nanbargal, studied Perinjanam's solar project and invited Satchith to present it at a decentralised planning committee meeting.

To avoid the challenges of frequent power cuts in Tamil Nadu, they expressed their interest in adopting the project as well as sanctioning loans from cooperative banks to the farmers and others to set up solar power units.

Also Read: UN Chief Calls India's First Solar-Powered Village A 'Reconciliation Between Humankind & Planet'; Know More

Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Laxmi Mohan Kumar
Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
Creatives : Laxmi Mohan Kumar

Must Reads