Solar Revolution in Bangalore Apartments

Solar Energy In India
As of today, India generates a sum total of 275912 MW of energy from installed power plants. Out of this, 4061 MW is contributed by solar power systems. With plans for expansion in place, this number is expected to shoot up significantly.

In Karnataka, BESCOM has invited applications from consumers and commercial folks alike to sign up for partaking in the solar power revolution.

If you have decided to invest in a solar plant for your apartment, we congratulate you on that. Sustainable energy is the need of the hour and we should take it as our responsibility to not harm the environment any more than necessary.

The Bangalore Apartment Federation (BAF) is working to launch a city-wide solar rooftop initiative. Within one-and-a-half to two years, the hope is to have 1,000 apartments using rooftop solar panels.

“We are working on a larger proposal that will make this process feasible. We are doing a lot of background work in collaboration with the Karnataka Government’s energy department for the same. In the meantime, we are holding sessions with apartment owners on why we need to do this, the capital investment and regulatory aspects,” says Srikanth Narasimhan, general secretary of BAF, adding that the proposal is 70 per cent complete.

While thousands of Bengalureans are already conscious of the benefits of solar rooftops, it is the financial investment and permissions needed from authorities that are hindrances. “There is a fair bit of capital investment required. We are considering an Opex model, where the vendor will invest initially for the set-up, and charge the apartment on a monthly basis. This way, apartment owners need not worry about the initial investment,” Srikanth says.

He further adds, “There are many procedures involved for apartments to get permission from BESCOM and other agencies. Right now, it takes up to seven months for residents to get approval for installing solar roof tops. We are working to make this process easier as well.”

The State Government issued a notification on August 27 stating that units generating less than one megawatt do not need inspection before commissioning by a chief electrical inspector. This cuts down the process by two months for apartments.

Rooftop Solar – Does it make sense for Residences?

Solar Mango, a solar energy consulting firm has an interesting study on this.

A solar PV plant costs approximately Rs. 1 Lakh per kW with installation without batteries or subsidies, and will last 25 years 1 kW of solar plant generates about 4 kWh of electricity per day on average over a year The inverter is the only major component likely to need replacement.

If you are considering solar to save on your EB bills, we recommend evaluating solar only if your residential EB tariff is Rs. 5.00/kWh or greater, subject to state specific incentive schemes that can lower the cost of solar.

As solar plants generate power during the day when most residents are not at home, the plant has to sized carefully for daytime load rather than peak load which is usually experienced only at night.

Solar PV plants can be installed in apartment buildings provided installing solar panels on the common rooftop is permitted.

A solar water heater is a better choice for heating water than a solar PV plant