Tamil Nadu's crippling power crisis and the local government's solar energy focus is winning over some converts among top corporate names in the state. Solar power is increasingly being viewed as a viable alternative to grid energy particularly by Tamil Nadu's industrial sector which paid heavily for the power crisis in 2011 and 2012. The latest to sign up for solar power is German truck maker Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) -- wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG and the manufacturer of the BharatBenz truck brand -- which has announced the setting up of its first solar power project within its plant at Oragadam, near Chennai.

DICV's solar power focus began last year in line with Daimler's global focus to turn towards green energy. "The focus is not only in creating environment friendly products but also to focus on such energies for internal use. This is also in-line with DICV's initiative to create better self-sufficiency in power that reduces dependency on conventional power. DICV will enhance its focus on new renewable energies," the company said in a statement.

"The pressure on the environment is increasing as economies are expanding rapidly and the demand for power is always increasing," said Marc Llistosella, MD & CEO, DICV. "We have a responsibility to society to reduce our carbon footprint. In line with our focus globally, Daimler is always exploring possibilities to turn to alternate means of energy. We are happy that the government of Tamil Nadu has taken initiatives in this regard on a large scale. Our first project is set in the right direction and we will take this further".

DICV's solar project uses the roof structure of DICV's parts logistics warehouse. "More than 1000 Poly Crystalline Solar PV modules each with a capacity of 280W, have been installed. The total installed capacity is 300 KW," the company said in a statement. The modules are connected in series. They are formed as strings and connected to 15 numbers of 17kW transformer-less String Inverters. DC power produced by Solar PV modules is converted into AC power by the String inverters and fed into 415V bus available at the premises. The Solar PV modules are installed on a specially designed roof structure, which is oriented south in direction, in order to increase efficiency.

Power produced from Solar PV modules will be synchronized with TANGEDCO grid at 415V level and will be fully utilized inside DICV Plant. The power produced will be adjusted against the Solar Purchase Obligations (SPO) which is mandated by state government as per the Tamilnadu Solar Energy Policy 2012.

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