The Jharkhand government is going to run 13 jails on solar power as it will amount to considerable savings of power. The initiative will also include the central jail in Ranchi. The establishments recorded savings with solar power plants that take care of 35 percent of their total power needs.
Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) has been asked by the authorities to improve the generation of electricity so that the prisons would no longer depend on conventional power. The JREDA set up solar plants at four central and nine divisional jails last year.
A prison department official informed, “We had installed solar power plants in 13 jails, namely, Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, and central jails of Dumka, Hazaribagh and Daltonganj; and divisional jails of Khunti, Simdega, Jamtara, Latehar, Garhwa, Ramgarh, Chaibasa and Chatra. Solar power generated was about 35% of the total energy needed”. At most of these places, the power supply was erratic.
Jails even saved the diesel cost as it used solar power to run CCTV surveillance systems, lights and office computers and it did not need to switch on diesel generators whenever Jharkhand Urja Vikas Nigam (JUVNL) supply was cut.
“We used to spend a considerable sum towards fuel for generator sets. But, once the jails run completely on solar power, the funds spent on fuel will be saved,” said the official.
The government is also planing to provide solar power facility to Ghaghidih Central Jail in Jamshedpur.