Whether it is reducing usage of water, making manufacturing processes leaner or a reforesting project around the Blue Mountain in the outskirts of Mysore, sustainability is a key topic for Klüber Lubrication India. The latest proof: solar panels on the plant’s roof. The 5,000 square meter facility is set up at three distinct sites across the manufacturing plant and will be producing 55 per cent of the total electricity consumption.
Downsizing the footprint
With 300 sunny days, Mysore is a perfect place for setting up a photovoltaic system. According to an internal study the benefits of the plant are significant. “The photovoltaic system will reduce smog-causing NOx emissions by 3.5 tons, SOx emissions, which could result in acid rains, by 3.2 tons and also decrease asthma-causing particulates by 0.2 tons. In addition, the project will reduce CO₂ emissions by roughly 1,110 tons, which would mathematically have to be compensated by more than 88,000 trees”, says Kanakaraju Thangavel, CTO of Klüber Lubrication India.
Solar energy on the rise in India
The timing for the project fits perfectly. The solar power industry in India is developing quickly. The country has become globally the lowest cost producer of solar power. The country’s installed capacity reached 29.41 Gigawatt by the end of May 2019 – roughly eight per cent of the total capacity. The government gave itself the very ambitious target of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.
A quickly implemented project
“We just decided to have a photovoltaic system back in 2018. Although weather conditions are favorable in Mysore, the challenge was the design of fixing the PV modules on the roof to take the wind loads and avoid water leakages during rainy days. This was sorted out by robust design of fixing the mounting rails on to the purlin”, says Rakshit Kumar, the Head of Engineering and Projects at Klüber Lubrication India. For the financing of the solar plant, the company evaluated various options of investment models. “We found out that the BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) model is advantageous to us with low cost green power, free operation, maintenance and asset transfer to us after 15 years. So sustainability adds to profitability too," says Vishal Almal, CFO Klüber Lubrication India.