United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust Solar Power Projects

    Description
    Intro

    The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (the “Trust”) founded by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in 1972 conducts all its humanitarian activities based on the five core human values of Truth, Peace, Love, Right Conduct, and Non-Violence. To create a sustainable energy security environment and reduce its carbon footprint, the Trust undertook major project to install solar technology at its various institutions in India. The solar power project is one of the largest installations of solar panels by a charitable Trust in India. This was achieved in 3 phases, and the total output achieved so far is 6,100 kWp.

    Description

    To mitigate the effects of the high cost and intermittent shortages of conventional energy sources, and have a sustainable power source, the Trust in 2017 undertook to diversify its reliance on such sources, and implemented solar power technology at its various institutions, including hospitals, schools and university campuses. The cost/benefit analysis showed that the savings achieved by the use of solar power can be utilised to further develop and run other free humanitarian programs that directly benefits the beneficiaries of all the works undertaken by the Trust.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    Energy is crucial component for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals, from its role in the eradication of poverty, through advancements in health, education, water supply sustainable cities, and to combating climate change. The use of sustainable power at all the Trust’s institutions contribute directly towards fulfilling the requirements under SDGs 7, 11, 12 and 13. Other direct benefits include little to no waste, reduced carbon footprint, economic improvements, and less overall maintenance thus saving valuable resources.

    Implementation methodologies

    The Trust undertook its first solar project in January 2017 by setting up a 100 kWp solar power plant in the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, India. In the first 12 months, it generated 140,000 units of energy. In addition, the entire hospital lighting system was replaced with 3000 LED bulbs, reducing the lighting power load by 60%. Similarly, it changed the motors and the ducting of its hospital ICU air-conditioning system to further reduce the power load by 40%, and reduce the concomitant carbon footprint. In scaling up its solar initiatives, the Trust in 2018 set up a further 1 mWp solar plant at its Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi, India. The Central Research Instruments Facility, also in Puttaparthi and part of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, a state-of-the-art advanced research and development centre, was the next place where 800 kWp plant was installed. An entire hill area around the facility was converted into a solar farm, where a steep 45-degree slope was moulded into three tiers with solid retaining walls designed to provide the needed 15-degree slope for solar panels to be accommodated. Simultaneously a 100 kWp plant was set up for Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital and another 200 kWp plant for the Sri Sathya Sai Archives building. After further installing other solar power plants at its numerous other sites, the total power generated as of date is 6,100 kWp. Its renewable energy production and its power conservation measures prevented 8,144 tons of carbon emission annually.

    Results

    The solar energy projects by the Trust makes it one of the largest installation by any charitable institution in India. The Bengaluru hospital became the first hospital in the state of Karnataka to have a 100 kWp solar plant generating 10,000 units of energy every month. This equates to carbon emission reduction of 127.5 tons annually. This goes directly in contributing to the SDGs. The savings and benefits achieved by undertaking the solar project has inspired the Trust to use the savings it has achieved by providing enhanced free services to the beneficiaries in all its humanitarian projects. The efforts by the Trust in the use of solar technology contributes towards achieving the aims under the UN’s 2030 Agenda. The solar power initiative is scalable as well sustainable.

    Factors and Constraints

    The development of the latest solar technology contributed greatly to the success of this initiative of the Trust. The project was conceptualised and implemented by the Trust, and it was technically executed by private companies, Mytrah Energy Pvt Ltd and Orb Energy. The total cost of implementing the solar project is approximately US$4 Million to date.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The Trust in all its projects has utilised the economically viable silicon solar technology which has a cell lifespan of up to 25 years, unlike materials based on organic semi-conductors or organic polymers that wither with the exposure to UV radiation. This ensures the longevity of the projects with the supply of power for at least two decades. The solar projects as developed by the Trust is sustainable as well as highly scalable as is evidenced by the projects already scaled up.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The Covid-19 Pandemic has not had an impact on the projects, needless to say that some of the work was delayed until such time as it was safe to complete the works.

    Contact Name
    Rathnakar
    False
    SDG Good Practices logo
    This initiative belongs to SDG Good Practices
    Organization/entity
    Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust
    SDGs
    Geographical coverage
    Countries
    India
    India
    Contact Information

    Rathnakar, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust Solar Power Projects