Winds of change await streetlights
CHENNAI: Chennai Corporation is studying the feasibility of using wind energy to power streetlights along the coast from Manali to Sholinganallur.
The civic body has asked companies that have come forward with proposals for setting up mini-windmills to fuel streetlights to submit a detailed report on the wind velocity along the coastline.
“We have asked for details on wind speed, temperature and how much energy it can generate. We can use a lot of the wind, especially near the coasts, so we are looking at the route right from Manali in North Chennai to Sholinganallur,” said corporation commissioner PWC Davidar. “Since we are still studying the various technologies and their working, we have not decided on the number of roads, streetlights or places where it will be implemented,” he said.
Companies that exploit wind energy as a resource usually study the wind velocity, atmospheric pressure, humidity and the duration of the peak time – the time of the year when velocity is at its highest. Wind speeds and energy peaks between May and August. “We should have a minimum speed of 6.5 metres per second, and a maximum velocity of around 25 metres per second,” said Raja Rajan, a senior marketing manager of Enercon India Limited, a firm dealing with large windmills.
The corporation is also going to study the use of solar energy in support their streetlights. “We are looking at fitting streetlights with solar panels that can harness adequate power through the day and use it to light up during the night. It should be successful in a city like Chennai that receives a lot of sunlight, though it is expensive,” said a corporation official. A minimum of 25,000 streetlights was likely to sport the technology, said Davidar.
“Since we haven’t zeroed in on the technology or the company yet, we will not be able to tell you the areas. Davidar said the civic body, which pays an electricity bill of Rs 24 crore, is trying to reduce energy consumption by 25% by the end of the year.
Corporation first proposed the idea of using renewable energy to fuel city’s streetlights during in the local body’s budget proposal for the year 2012-2013 last month.