Solar trees find more homes

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The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has directed its officials to install solar trees in residential complexes of central government employees for harnessing solar energy to the maximum extent possible.

“The available vacant ground space should be optimally utilized for generation of solar power. Accordingly, the field units are directed to install either solar trees or ground mounted solar PV panels or an optimal mix of these two options after ascertaining the technical feasibility in consultation with Architecture wing of the Department”—read a notification by CPWD, the prime construction agency of the central government.

The decision came following a recommendation that the concept of solar trees at the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial built by the CPWD at Dandi in Gujarat should be implemented to harness renewable energy from open area of the Habitat other than building rooftop.

Accordingly, the officials were directed to explore the possibility of installation of solar trees in the open areas.

Solar tree is an aesthetic expression of solar PV panels.

The National Salt Satyagraha Memorial—inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 150th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi—houses 41 solar trees along with various artefacts and souvenirs of the famous freedom fighter. With 370 Wp mono-crystalline panels, the solar trees have the capacity to generate 182 kWp and are installed in such a way that they are capable of meeting the energy demand of the entire memorial, thus making it a net zero energy building.