While Chandigarh is making its mark in installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (SPV) power plants on government buildings, the number of city residents opting for solar power is not very impressive. That too, despite a subsidy of 30 per cent and other incentives being offered.
As per official records of the Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST), a total of 38 residents have installed SPV at their home of 164 kw peak (kWp) capacity with net metering while 1245 kWp have been installed on a total of 17 different private institutions in the city. Net metering is an arrangement whereby a solar power system is connected to electrical service connection of a prosumer (producer-cum- consumer) and solar energy exported to the grid is deducted (adjusted) in terms of units from energy imported from the distribution licensee during the applicable billing period.
Under the gross metering category, total aggregate capacity of 121.24 Kwp solar plants have been installed on as many 17 residential houses while five plants of 275KWp capacity have been installed on buildings of private institutions. Under gross metering, total solar power generated is exported to grid.
Contrary to private sectors, Chandigarh has been ranked number one city in the country in the installation of solar rooftop plants on government buildings. So far, it has managed to install solar panels on over 120 buildings. The Chandigarh Administration aims to generate 100MW, both residential and government, by 2022.
The UT Administration has set an ambitious target of installing SPV on a total of 2,000 residential buildings in next one year. To achieve the target, the authorities have decided to rope in residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and have announced a cash award of Rs 1 lakh to best performing association.
Santosh Kumar, CEO of CREST, said that the response from private sectors had been low due to lack of awareness. “The response will pick up as the administration has announced various incentives,” he said. For the benefit of residents, CREST has launched a website, http://www.solarchandigarh.com, on which all the permissions required for installing SPV are granted.
Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu maintains that most of the residents are not aware of the incentives being offered for installing SPVs.
“They need to aggressively spread awareness about the solar power plant among the residents,” said Bittu.
For setting up of a plant of 1kWp to up to 5kWp, Rs 85,000 would be required. Similarly, one has to shell out Rs 80,000 to install a solar plant of more than 5kWp to up to 10KWp. To install a solar plant of more than 10kWp to up to 20kWp, one requires Rs 75,000.