According to reports, some power loom units in the district want to install solar energy systems; almost a dozen textile mills have gone in for solar energy plants; and foundries have opted for solar power at least for lighting.
R. Chellappan, Managing Director of Swelect Energy Systems, said here recently that the company has installed over 15 rooftop solar energy systems in Coimbatore for industries. The capacity of each system was about 100 kw.
Though several industries are reluctant to invest in solar energy systems because of the high cost involved, it looks like some have started tapping solar energy.
According to Southern India Mills’ Association, larger textile mills have started installing one MW or two MW solar energy plants as they get depreciation benefits and will be able to meet the State Government’s Solar Purchase Obligation when it will be implemented. However, not many smaller textile mills have gone in for solar yet. They have already invested in wind energy and are facing evacuation problems, says K. Thirunavukarasu, president of South India Spinners’ Association. In the case of rooftop systems, the mills will find it difficult to maintain these. Hence, not many have evinced interest in solar projects, he says.
President of Indian Institute of Foundrymen, Coimbatore, Jayakumar Ramdass, says that several foundries have solar lighting in their units. Though many are considering the solar energy option they have not gone in for it as it will take a longer time to get returns from the plants, unlike wind energy and the initial investment is high, he says.