Su-kam Off Grid Solar Plant Backs Assam Rifles Power Supply
In an effort to protect the nation and its people, the Assam Rifles have mostly been vulnerable to the complexities of daily life with poor or absolutely no electricity supply. As their units are located in the interiors of Assam and neighbouring states, it has been difficult for the Assam Rifles to get appropriate flow of electricity until Su-kam reached them.
Mr Anjit Kumar, Manager of Solar Department in Su-kam who has started his career with the company and has been a strong part of the Su-kam family for seven years now, shares with us how the Assam Rifles project has become the landmark project in the history of solar business at Su-Kam.
Facts about Assam Rifles
Formed under the British in 1835, the Assam Rifles is the oldest central paramilitary force in India. The force was raised mainly to guard the alluvial plains of Assam from the unruly tribes inhabiting the surrounding hill tracts. Since 2002 it has been guarding the India-Myanmar border as per the government policy “one border one force”.
There are currently 46 battalions of Assam Rifles under the control of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs and they perform many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations, provision of aid to the civil power in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas.
In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed. With so much of responsibility for national security and public well-being, the Assam Rifles deserves a smooth and uninterrupted power system.
Su-kam’s off grid solar system in the Assam Rifles covered various locations in the states of
All these years, Assam Rifles have been dependent on alternate sources like diesel generator which is unreliable and is not eco-friendly.
The solar PV plants, which replaced the diesel generators, help in saving conventional energy and fossil fuels, unlike generators.
Total Capacity Of the Off-Grid Solar Project
The total plant capacity of the off grid solar power plants with battery backup installed is 1300 KWp
(50 KWp for 10 sites and 100 KWp for 8 sites).
All the plants have been installed under MNRE subsidy scheme as per Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission in India.
From the very start of the installation of the off grid solar systems, all the plants have been running successfully as a result of the usage of high efficiency components.
The 28 Crore Solar Project Completed in Nine Months
# The first project of 450 KWp was completed in December, 2012 &
# The second project of 850 KWp in March, 2014.
# The entire project was completed in only nine months and the total cost was around 28 crores rupees.
Maintenance of the systems happens every two months and in case of any breakdown in the system , Su-kam’s dedicated team of engineers attend to the complaint within 48 hours, even if the breakdown takes place in a remote site.
Benefits Of Su-kam’s Off-Grid Solar Plant
Su-kam’s off grid solar plant has a wide number of benefits, which the Assam Rifles get to enjoy:
• Now no one has to depend on grid electricity. Everything is off the grid!
• No more Diesel power: As off grid solar system provides power to a dedicated load, one can avoid using conventional power like diesel generator, thus leading to saving fossil diesel.
• Environment friendly: Off grid solar system is pollution free, be it noise, air or land.
• Light on the pocket: Off grid solar helps save revenues
Of course the journey of Su-kam’s solar power in Assam Rifles has not been easy. The Su-kam team had to face many challenges during the implementation of the project, to mention some:
6 Challenges Faced By Team Su-Kam
1. Bandhs and terror threats:
The states of Assam and Manipur get bandhs (halt to daily on-goings, be it offices, schools, markets or even the streets) very frequently due to local or political issues.
As a result, it was not possible to move from one solar plant site to another. Bomb blasts and abducting are a common sight there.
How Team Su-Kam Managed to Escape the Terrorists?
All the solar sites of Manipur are in hilly regions which are surrounded by local terror groups. The Su-kam team was stopped several times by these groups demanding for money and disturbing the solar plant installation.
Our brave Su-kam team managed to escape the terrorists strategically and continued their work.
2. Site development issues:
As all the units of Assam Rifles are in hilly areas, the biggest challenge for the Su-kam team was to make the sites suitable for PV installations. The team used to stay at the Assam Rifles camps day and night and worked hard to develop the sites by leveling the ground, making control rooms available and so on.
3. Extreme weather conditions:
North East India is known for monsoons and heavy rainfall. It has affected the solar project largely. Initially the Su-kam team used to wait for the rain to stop to start working again but later in order to meet the deadline; they worked even in the rain.
Transporting materials to the sites was a challenge as the units were remotely located and road conditions were not good.
5. Communication problem:
There were problems in getting mobile networks and internet access. The Su-kam team also faced problems in communicating with the locals in their languages.
6. Availability of manpower:
Manpower was scarce and the cost of labour was three times the normal cost. To overcome this shortcoming, Su-kam hired five service engineers locally and provided them proper training so that they could maintain the solar power sites well.
Nevertheless, Su-kam came out with flying colors with its state of the art solar system for the Assam Rifles which is simply commendable.
For More Information about this Project, Visit here.