To accelerate the pace of solar deployment in the city, the newly formed Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd. ( PSCDCL) has planned to launch the ‘Pune-Maximum Solar City’ initiative as the first step towards facilitating a solar Pune. The PSCDCL, in collaboration with Pune International Centre (PIC) and Prayas Energy Group, organised an awareness programme for citizens and the media.
Pune has been selected under the Smart City Mission and one of the important areas of focus under this initiative is to substantially increase the use of solar power, especially Rooftop Solar PV (RTPV) within the city. Pune can significantly contribute towards the overall national goal of 100 GW of solar power by 2022 from current its current 6 GW capacity.
To enable citizens to install rooftop solar systems, the Maharashtra Electricity Regula-tory Commission (MERC) recently notified net metering regulations in September 2015. Net metering is a regulation that credits RTPV owners for the electricity they add to the grid.
This provides an incentive for RTPV owners in commercial, industrial and residential segment to maximise the rooftop potential as many of them may generate more electrical energy than they use during the day. MSEDCL had recently issued various documents, including commercial circulars to its staff to operationalise the net metering framework.
Earlier, elected representatives in the PMC had rejected the civic administration’s proposal to appoint a private agency recommended by the Union government to implement the project to generate solar power by installing solar panels on the roof of civic buildings. They had urged the civic body to appoint another agency for the project.
The corporators had said that handing over the roof of civic buildings to a private agency for solar power for 30 years to save Rs 70 lakh on power consumption is not financially feasible and PMC would gain financially if it executes a similar project on its own.
It was planned that power generation would go up to 5 MW by the end of 2016-17 after the pilot 1 MW power generation, and the PMC had even identified 19 civic buildings, including schools and cultural halls, for installing solar panels on the roof to generate solar power.