NREDCAP Issues Empanelment Tender for 35 MW of Rooftop Solar Projects

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.

This announcement comes on the heels of Delhi state government’s approval of the Mukhyamantri Solar Power Program, stated a Press Trust of India (PTI) report.

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.

The Delhi state government is also giving a generation-based incentive (GBI) of ₹2 (~$0.0274)/kWh on solar generation for a three-year period from financial year (FY) 2016-17 to FY 2018-19 under the Delhi Solar Policy. The GBI is disbursed on an annual basis by power distribution companies (DISCOMs).

According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Delhi has an installed rooftop solar PV capacity of over 100 MW. A PTI report says these installations have mostly been in government buildings such as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (20 MW), Delhi Jal Board, Mandoli Jail, Azadpur Mandi and Dwarka Court. The government has said that in the domestic sector, the installed capacity is around 5 MW.

The primary reason for the underutilization is the poor response to solar adoption by residential sector consumers. To solarize the national capital based on  Delhi Solar Policy, residential sector needs to be geared up.

Since solar is in initial phases in the domestic sector, there is need for extending GBI and also a need for course correction in view of the new tariff regime. For giving it the required impetus, there is also a need to extend GBI for a period of five years starting from 2019-20, per the PTI report.

Combined with a decrease in solar tariff, this will offset the impact of electricity tariff and may increase adoption of solar by consumers from domestic sector. For a typical solar power plant, this will amount to GBI payment of ₹13,000 (~$178.509)/kW in five years, and this payment will amount to 22-25 percent on benchmark solar costs.

Delhi has been battling air pollution at an unprecedented scale for a long time now and the state government has turned to renewables, especially solar for respite.

For instance, BSES, Delhi’s major distribution company (DISCOM), recently announced that it has installed more than 1,000 solar rooftop connections with a sanctioned solar load of over 40 MW. According to BSES, the total number of solar rooftop net metering connections is likely to cross 2,000 and the sanctioned solar load will double up to around 80 MW by the end of 2018.

Recently, the Delhi government approved Mukhyamantri Agriculture-cum Solar Farm Program to increase farmer’s income and achieve the state’s solar target as per the Delhi Solar Policy 2016.

In July 2018, Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had announced its plan to launch a Solar Rooftop Demand Aggregation Program for domestic customers in the nation’s capital.

Recently, BSES, one of Delhi’s DISCOMs, announced that it has installed more than 1,000 solar rooftop connections with a sanctioned solar load of over 40 MW.

Now, the current announcement made by the government will also help the growth of rooftop solar in Delhi as the cost factor has been removed.

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.