Delhi’s BSES Launces Its Second Phase of Solar City Program

BSES, Delhi’s major distribution company (DISCOM), has launched the second phase of its Solar City initiative in New Delhi.

Mercom has reported that in January 2018, BSES has launched Solar City to increase solar rooftop installations in the city. It was hailed as country’s first solar rooftop consumer aggregation program for residential buildings.

In the second phase of the initiative, Shakur Basti area will be covered. Shakur Basti has many colonies and BSES estimates the solar rooftop potential to be about 15 MW. Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) is also targeting to install 5 MW of rooftop net-metering in the area by 2019-20.

According to the BSES release, in the first phase, 100 housing societies and apartment complexes have signed-up for the initiative in Dwarka and of these, around 25 housing societies are reported to have installed solar capacities of 1.5 MW. The rooftop tariff discovered through competitive bidding in Dwarka is ₹ 2.66/kWh (~$0.036/kWh) net of generation-based incentive and ₹ 2.50/kWh (~$0.034/kWh) less than the prevailing electricity tariff.

Though Mercom has found that net metering has been a drag on India’s rooftop solar sector, Delhi is one city where the regulations are streamlined and the approvals take not more than 25 days to 30 days which is mostly one of the reasons for the solar rooftop sector to grow.

“The programme also aims to educate consumers about the benefit of solar energy while ensuring strict quality compliance of the system being installed. It is also facilitating various finance options available to the consumers”, said Amal Sinha, Chief Executive of BRPL.

The initiative was launched in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – PACE-D and the Indo-German Collaboration (GIZ).

Recently, Mercom reported that BSES has installed more than 1,000 solar rooftop connections with a sanctioned solar load of over 40 MW.

The Delhi government has also come up with the Mukhyamantri Solar Power Program, where Delhi residents adopting rooftop solar projects and residing in co-operative group housing societies (CGHS) will not have to shell out a single penny anymore for the installation of rooftop solar PV systems. According to a statement issued by the government, there will be a tripartite agreement between the concerned group housing society, the service provider and the Delhi government for the purpose.

In July, Mercom had reported that Delhi was planning to launch solar rooftop demand aggregation program for domestic consumers and the national capital is expected to generate 2 GW of rooftop solar power by 2025.

In February 2018, the Delhi government also released its draft Delhi Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2018. The draft ECBC aims to create minimum requirements for energy-efficient design and construction of commercial buildings in Delhi. In the draft code, the government stresses the importance of installing renewable energy generation, mainly rooftop solar, on commercial buildings across the city.

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