Salem, a city in Tamil Nadu state, will soon have solar panels atop its buildings in all the four zones in a bid to save electricity costs. This was announced by the Salem Municipal Corporation. The cost of installation would be Rs 3.55 crore, to be carried out under its ‘smart city’ project. “The initiative will save the Salem Municipal Corporation Rs 60 lakhs on electricity bills,” said SMC commissioner R Sadheesh. The solar panels with a capacity to produce 471.54 KW electricity were inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami two months ago.
The corporation commissioner said the solar panels would be able to produce 40,067.50 units of electricity a month and nearly 1.46 crore units a year. He said panels with a capacity to produce about 52.56 KW electricity have been set up in Suramangalam zone, while Hasthampatty zone has got panels with a capacity to produce 208.66 KW electricity. The total capacity of solar panels in Ammapet zone is 152.61 KW and those in Kondalampatty zone is 57.71KW.
The installation of solar panels will also benefit the industry of the city. The Salem handloom industry is one of the most ancient cottage industries that produce quality sari, dhoti and angavasthram out of silk yarn and cotton yarn. In the recent past, home furnishing items are also woven, mainly for export purposes. More than 75,000 handlooms are currently in operation and the total value of cloth produced per annum is estimated at Rs 50,000 crore. With more than 125 spinning mills, with modern weaving units and garment units, Salem has established itself as one of the major textile centres in Tamil Nadu.
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