Mangaluru, July 19, 2016: Environmental Engineer of MCC D L Shabarinath Rai told media that the process of MCC Mangalore City Corporation to divert excess of renewable energy generated at its biogas plant at Urwa Market, to the grid of the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) Limited, is already on, with the electricity wing of the Corporation inviting expression of interest to install a net meter. It will help maintain the data of energy produced. The Mescom engineers have already inspected the plant.
Superintendent Engineer, Mescom, Padmavathi confirmed that the proposal has been approved, with concurrent directions from KERC, Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission.
Er Rai said that the idea arises from the fact that the plant with two-tonne (2,000-kg) capacity can be fully used only when the system is streamlined. " The existing drum at the plant - where segregated waste is stored in the process of producing alternate energy (tube gas) - was overflowing at times," he explained, adding, "The plant receives 500 kg to 600 kg of food waste mainly from the Akshaya Patra Foundation of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), which supplies mid-day meals to schools, as also from the Central Market, from where vegetable and fruit waste is sourced, and hotels and catering agencies. The waste received, however, is segregated - therefore, the vegetable and fruits will be cut into pieces, before being put to use."
Er Rai also said that, by installing the meter, the Corporation aims at collecting the data of energy produced. "Right now authorities are not able to calculate the exact amount of energy generated. Besides, installation of a meter will also facilitate in automatically diverting the additional energy, which will gradually help in increasing the amount of waste collected to reach the capacity. The engineering section of the MCC has decided to install a balloon - which is another type of storage facility - in addition to existing drum, in the days to come. In the present scenario, the alternate energy generated at the plant is being used to run the plant, that includes a motor and crusher among other equipment," he explained.
"Once the meter is installed, the value of excess power diverted to Mescom will be adjusted to the monthly electricity bill of the MCC payable to Mescom, that supplies electricity to street lights in the MCC limits. The rate for purchase of power per unit, however, has yet to be fixed," said Rai.
In a recent meeting, DK DC Adoor B Ibrahim had directed the authorities concerned to streamline the functioning of biogas plant. He had also taken note of the complaint that sourcing of food waste was the major hurdle. Following this, the DC had directed the authorities to link marriage halls and community halls to the plant, for collecting waste.
Funds up to Rs 28 lakh have been invested till recently on the plant, which was started in 2012, with two dedicated workers on the job. It was aimed to produce 200 units of alternate energy daily. Also, manure is a by-product.