In a bid to raise awareness about the importance of solar energy, a solar dome, first of its kind in the country, is set to come up on the outskirts of Kolkata. The solar dome will not only serve to raise awareness about solar energy, it will also act as a museum displaying various usages of the unconventional energy as well as a tourist spot, West Bengal Power Minister Manish Gupta told PTI.
The entire dome will be covered by solar pannels which, in turn, will produce electricity to run the project and will also provide power to the nearby Eco-Park at Rajarhat. It will house a planetarium, marine aquarium, gallery and a view point from which the visitors will have a panoramic view of Rajarhat-Newtown.
The project will be implemented by the state-owned West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) in coordination with West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corportion. According to Gupta, the project will cost around Rs 30 crore and will be completed by the end of next year. “The outer part of the dome will be covered with solar module or panels. It will produce solar energy. It will meet not only its own needs, but also those of people living in the surrounding areas,” Chairman of WBSEDCL Narayan Swaroop Nigam said.
“The first phase will be completed by next year and the next two phases will be completed after that. We are hopeful that it will be a huge attraction for the people living in and around Kolkata,” Nigam said. According to officials of WBSEDCL, the solar dome project is an awarness project which is part of the state government’s ambitious target to generate at least 100 MWs of power from rooftop solar units over the next two to three years.
“The state government has set a target to generate at least 100 MWs of power from rooftop solar panels in the next 2-3 years,” an official said. To make solar power more viable and popular among urban people in West Bengal, the state government last year had asked the highrises in Rajarhat to install solar panels on their roof tops.