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Companies take to the power of sun

According to reports, after colleges, commercial establishments are now waking up to the advantages of using solar power. Despite lack of government policies, industrial units and commercial establishments are going solar, as this power is getting economically viable.

Many companies are putting up commercial rooftop solar systems not because of any policy push but simply because grid power is not available and solar power works out cheaper. At a time when the industry is striving for grid parity – when the price of solar power is equal to conventional power – rooftop solar power systems for commercial use have become economical.

Companies like Loyal Textiles, Super Auto Forge, TI Cycles, or Schwing Stetter are putting up systems of about 100 kilowatt (KW) while larger organisations like Intel or the Delhi Airport are coming out with 500KW systems of their roofs with plans for more. Apart from these, several factories and companies in smaller towns across the country have adopted solar energy. “There are several companies putting up solar power systems without any financial support from the Central or state governments. It makes sense for companies who depend on diesel generators for power when grid power is not available,” said Sharad Saxena, CEO of Chemtrols Solar, a company which designs and installs solar power systems.

For instance, a unit of power from the grid will cost a company 8.3 while power from diesel generators will cost 17 a unit. But, a unit of solar power today costs 8 a unit, and it would work well for companies to replace dieselbased power with solar.

Construction equipment maker Schwing Stetter India recently commissioned a 100KW rooftop solar plant. Anand Sundaresan, VC & MD of the company, says that with an investment of 68 lakh for the plant which generates about 1.5 lakh units a year, the company would be saving about 12.45 lakh a year and a return on its investment is expected in about five years.

At a time when solar is become viable, a dampener on the horizon is the imposition of anti-dumping duties on imported solar panels, which would result in an increase in prices. Indian solar module makers are demanding action against foreign players selling panels to India at very low costs, and a verdict on this is expected soon.

What’s the math?

For a company, a unit of power from the grid will cost a company 8.3 Power from diesel generators will cost 17 a unit A unit of solar power costs only 8 a unit A company, which is setting up a 100KW solar plant of 1.5 lakh units a year capacity with an investment of 68 lakh, will save 12.45 lakh a year on power .

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