The Sun is smiling brightly on Gujarat's Modhera.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (9 October) declared the village in Mehsana district as India's first 24x7 solar-powered village.
Modhera has a deep, historical Sun connection, thanks to the Sun Temple, or Surya Mandir, it hosts on the banks of river Pushpavati.
The renowned temple was built close to a thousand years ago, in 1026-27 CE, during the reign of Chalukya King Bhima I (1022-1063 CE).
Connecting the old and the new, Modhera, which hosts this ancient architectural marvel, is heading into a modern, renewable future through the production of electricity using the energy of the Sun.
"Earlier Modhera was known only for the beautiful Sun Temple, but now Modhera will be known as a solar village and will become an example of renewable energy-led rural development," the Prime Minister said in his public address in Modhera today.
This initiative came about from a programme led by both the centre and state, called the "Solarisation of Modhera Sun Temple and Town."
As part of the project, they developed a ground-mounted solar power plant in addition to installing 1,300 rooftop solar systems on top of residential and government buildings. The solar systems are integrated with a 15Mwh battery energy storage system. This makes up a 6MW grid.
Solar energy is thus available to Modhera round the clock.
"Whenever there will be talks of solar power, Modhera will be the first name to emerge. Because here everything is running on solar power. Whether it is light, farm; even effort is being made to run buses, vehicles on solar power," Prime Minister Modi said.
According to the Gujarat government, the village residents will be able to save 60 to 100 per cent on their electricity bills with the solar push.
After Modhera's solar designation, the International Solar Alliance tweeted: "Another important milestone in India’s impressive #solar journey!"
Over 100 countries are part of this global alliance, initiated by India and France in 2015, to increase the deployment of solar energy technologies in member countries.
India is firm in taking the clean, green energy route. It aims to take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
"We are committed to fulfill his (Modi's) resolve of producing 50 per cent of India’s energy requirements through renewable energy by 2030,” Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said.
This commitment was one among five expressed by Modi, as part of his five-piece "panchamrit" to battle the climate crisis, at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland's Glasgow in November last year.
The Prime Minister is currently on a three-day visit to Gujarat from 9 to 11 October. On day one, he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple projects worth over Rs 3,900 crore at a public event in Modhera.
In the evening, he made visits to the Modheshwari Mata Temple and the Surya Mandir.
Modhera is located 25 km from Mehsana district, and about 100 km from state capital Gandhinagar.
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