The federal government has allowed the Defence Division to purchase cheaper solar electricity in a bid to save a major chunk of money coming out of the army budget for consuming 240 megawatts of electricity every year which costs a little over Rs 15 billion. In addition to cost saving, continuous electricity supply is a critical requirement for all military garrisons which house hospitals and sensitive military installations
Army undertook a series of extensive studies/ in-house discussions in order to explore options to acquire cheap electricity to reduce burden on army budget. Renewable Energy (RE), solar power, which is being encouraged by the government, stands out as the best option.
According to sources privy to the matter Army intends to establish a solar park project of 1-5MW each in various garrisons on Build-Operate & Transfer (BOT) basis. The pilot project is aimed at production of 40MW of electricity. No public money will be involved in establishment of solar parks and their operation and maintenance for 25 years.
Defence Ministry claims that purchase of electricity will be at least 20-30 per cent cheaper than from Distribution Companies (Discos). Moreover Pakistan Army has a very robust/exclusive electric distribution system for all garrisons to harness RE through capital solar park which makes the option very efficient.