10 months on, Chandigarh’s rooftop solar plant project hangs fire : The Tribune India

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10 months on, Chandigarh’s rooftop solar plant project hangs fire

CREST fails to pick firm post stalemate over contract period

10 months on, Chandigarh’s rooftop solar plant project hangs fire

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Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, November 6

Even after getting approval nearly 10 months ago, the Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) has failed to implement RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) Model for free installation of rooftop solar power plants in the city.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) had, in January, granted approval to the installation of grid-connected rooftop solar plants in the city for domestic consumers by a third party under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.

An official said CREST was in talks with a company to fix the BOT period. After finalising the period, city residents will be able to get rooftop solar power plants installed free of cost. The cost of installation will be recovered by the selected firm over that period through the sale of electricity generated by the plants.

In June, CREST had identified a company for the project, but there was no consensus on the BOT period. The firm had proposed a BOT period of 23 years, but CREST was in favour of 20 years. The impasse in negotiations has delayed the project.

CREST, which has been designated as an executing agency for renewable energy projects of the Department of Science and Technology, UT, had filed a petition before the JERC, seeking approval for the installation of grid-connected rooftop (GCRT) power projects for domestic consumers by a third party under the RESCO BOT model.

The society has already received more than 1,200 applications from residents for solar plants, which, when installed, will generate 8.5 MWp of power even as it still falls short of the intended target of 20 MWp.

Under the RESCO model, the house owners will get electricity at a consistent rate of Rs 3.23 per unit. They will have to give space on the rooftop to the firm and get electricity at the rate of Rs 3.23 per unit during the BOT period. At present, domestic consumers have to pay Rs 2.75 per unit for 0-151 units, Rs 4.25 per unit for next 151-400 units and Rs 4.65 per unit for consuming over 400 units.

Once the BOT period concludes, the ownership of the solar plants will get transferred to the consumers at no additional cost.

Earlier, the Administration had made installation of rooftop solar plants mandatory for houses built on plot measuring 500 sq yd and above. Under the new model, the house owner will have to provide nearly 500 sq ft of space for a 5kWp solar plant.

1,200 residents await installation

CREST has already received more than 1,200 applications from city residents for solar plants, which, when installed, will generate 8.5 MWp of power even as it will still fall short of the intended target of 20 MWp

Crux of the matter

  • Executing agency CREST was given approval to install grid-connected rooftop solar plants in city in January this year
  • It identified a company for the project in June, but there was no consensus on build-operate-transfer period
  • Firm proposed BOT period of 23 years, but CREST was in favour of 20 years. Impasse delayed the project

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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