Ajay Agrawal, and Dr K M Soni, Former ADGs, Central Public Works Dept.
Government of India launched solar mission in 2010 with the target of deploying 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 which was revised to 1,00,000 MW in 2015. Revised target comprises of 40 GW Rooftop and 60 GW through large and medium scale grid connected solar power projects. With this ambitious target, India will become one of the largest green energy producers in the world, surpassing several developed countries.
CPWD, being a government organisation took a lead to provide solar rooftop power system in existing general pool office buildings and also in new buildings. Such system was provided with individual rooftop panels supported on frames on the roofs of the buildings.
CPWD was entrusted the work of development of National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi, Gujarat in the memory of “Salt March”, also known as “Salt Satyagraha Dandi March” led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. The concept was finalised and as a part of energy efficient campus, solar trees were installed in the campus making it net energy plus campus.
Net Zero Energy Buildings
A net zero energy building is a building with zero net energy consumption i.e. the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is produced through the renewable source in the building or site. Renewable energy sources are considered onsite or offsite. Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi is the first onsite net zero building in India, constructed by CPWD in 2014. It has solar rooftop panels and many energy efficiency measures.
Buildings that produce a surplus of energy over its consumption are called “Energy plus or net energy plus” buildings. Since the campus where memorial was planned has large area with minimum building footprint, it was felt appropriate to plan “Solar trees” in the campus to fulfil its energy demand.
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