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Discoms in India eye solar power

According to reports, power discoms are eyeing solar power. Tata-backed NDPL, which supplies power to north and northwest Delhi, has said it will generate 1.91MW of solar power by the end of the year. Approvals for three projects are expected next month, while nine projects have already been commissioned.

The pilot solar project in NDPL’s office in Hudson Lane was commissioned in 2008. Eight other projects in areas including Keshavpuram, Narela and Bawana are already functioning and generating 1.25MW of solar energy. Once the necessary approvals are given for pending projects, 0.66MW of power will be added by December this year. While approval for one more solar project came through last month, three more approvals are expected next month, said sources. The approved project will be commissioned shortly. In all, nine projects with a capacity ranging from 25 to 1000kW are to be commissioned by this year itself.

According to NDPL officials, commissioning of a 48.5kW solar plant at Inderpuri, a 50kW plant at Rohini and a 60kW plant at Shahzada Bagh is expected. Later in the year, a 250kW plant at the Centre for Power Efficiency in Distribution (CENPEID) at NDPL’s office in Rohini will be commissioned along with a 225kW plant at Pitampura. NDPL also hopes to be able to contribute to the Union government’s initiative to install 20GW of solar power by 2020. Sources said most of the funding will be done by NDPL except for some grant from the ministry of non-conventional and renewable energy. Senior officials said more projects were in the pipeline but were still in their initial stages. These would be taken up after current projects were commissioned.

The company is now waiting for the Delhi government to formulate a policy and announce subsidy plans for encouraging rooftop generation of solar power. “Rooftop generation and subsequent synchronization with the grid will vastly improve the power situation and will benefit both the consumer and companies. The government is working on the scheme. Hopefully, it will be announced shortly,” said the official.

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