Manipal University goes eco-friendly

Manipal University has installed yet another rooftop solar photovoltaic power generation plant at the indoor sports complex, ‘Marena’ on June 6, 2017. Manipal University, Manipal is an certified campus and follows a series of voluntary ISO standards on Quality and Environmental Management Systems (Q&EMS). The EMS certification came in 2008, following a clearly-articulated Environment Management System

Chikkananjappa, the managing director of MESCOM was invited as the chief guest and inaugurated the 119-kWp solar rooftop PV plant Marena. Manipal University currently has eight buildings with rooftop solar plants and now attains a 55% of energy-demand from a green source. Manipal University is also ranked number two in the list of green campuses in India.

Renewable energy for the win

Manipal University has adopted an energy policy supplementing the existing environment policy. In line with this, MU has partially shifted from conventional energy use to renewable energy use and sourcing. This is being achieved by installing solar PV rooftop systems on four buildings in the first phase with a capacity of 525 kilowatts peak (kWp) in September 2015 under BOOT principle connected to grid for self-use. These rooftop systems are however limited by the availability of shadow free area on existing buildings as ascertained in the initial survey conducted during proposal stage. This, in addition to already occupied roof tops for solar water heating systems leaves us with a comparatively smaller area that could be retrofitted with roof top PV systems. Recognizing this, to further boost MUs energy mix, green power procurement was put in place in August 2015. This substantially reduces MUs dependence on conventional energy sources thus mitigating carbon emissions as well as a shift towards sustainable energy use. Adoption of the above initiatives has led to 30% of the University’s power consumption being generated from a renewable source in FY 2015-16.

"This substantially reduces dependence on conventional energy sources, thus mitigating carbon emissions and making a significant shift towards sustainable energy use," said Dr H S Ballal, Pro-Chancellor Manipal University after inaugurating the plant. Chikkananjappa was appreciative of the initiatives being taken by the university to reduce pollution by using more and more of solar energy.

"Manipal University has partially shifted from conventional energy use to renewable energy use and sourcing. This is being achieved by installing solar photovoltaic rooftop systems on buildings with a total installed capacity of 817 kilowatts peak (kWp) connected to grid for self-use generating 12 lakh units on average per annum," said Derrick Joshua, environment executive of Manipal University.

Shridhar Rao, executive engineer (electrical), energy lead auditor and MR said: "This translates to carbon emission equivalent (Co2e) reduction of 984 metric tonnes. It substantially reduces dependence on conventional energy sources, thus mitigating carbon emissions and is a shift towards sustainable energy use. Adoption of combined strategy achieves Co2e emission reduction of 25,320 MT per annum".

Other initiatives

Manipal University (MU) strives to promote community welfare, environmental protection and efficient energy use to a level of performance that moves “beyond compliance”. Striving to set a benchmark on a National and International level for education, healthcare, environment and energy management. MU is committed to cleaner and greener campuses*. To realize this vision, the University commits to:

  • Institutionalize best practices, comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other recognized requirements related to environment and energy use and where practicable exceed them.
  • Preventing pollution by continually monitoring and improving its environmental and energy performance by provision of resources to achieve set objectives and targets
  • Establish and maintain management systems to improve energy performance and to minimize harmful effects on environment, human health and safety
  • Promote use of clean, safe and energy efficient technologies in order to utilize natural resources efficiently
  • Encourage transparency and communication of its commitment to sustainable development, simultaneously increasing awareness amongst its stakeholders as well as the community at large
  • Foster education, research and information exchange on energy and environmental development to move toward global sustainability
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