According to reports, DLF is set to become the first real estate developer in the country to generate power by installing solar panels on top of its office buildings, a move similar to the experiment in Gujarat, where the state government has installed such panels on top of government buildings in capital city Gandhinagar.
The developer has signed a build-andoperate agreement with UK-based Aniron Solatricity and Azure Power India to install solar panels on top of commercial buildings owned by DLF as an initial pilot project to produce 3 mw of power. The solar power generated will be routed to the buildings and combined with the main power source.
“It will help us use the unused terrace spaces of our buildings for generating power from environment friendly sources,” said Amit Grover, national director-offices business at DLF. The developer’s office buildings in Gurgaon, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai are being used for this project. DLF had earlier installed a 100 mw captive power plant in its DLF Cybercity in Gurgaon that runs on gas. This plant provides an uninterrupted power supply to offices in Cybercity.
While no other private company has so far installed solar projects on its rooftops, Gujarat government has installed solar panels to generate 5 mw of power on the roofs of government buildings and has plans to replicate this in five more cities in the state. In Delhi too, Tata Power Delhi Distribution has installed solar panels to generate 1.8 mw of power on the roofs of its establishments.
According to estimates, 33 km of Delhi’s total area of 1,483 square km can be used for rooftop solar photovoltaic projects to install 2,557 mw of capacity. “At the moment rooftop solar power is still more expensive than grid power. Grid parity is a few years away but it is catching up,” said Amit Kumar, executive director at consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
DLF’s Grover said the solar initiative is not only an alternative source of power alongside grid power, but like the company’s gas-based captive plant at Cybercity in Gurgaon it would also provide higher quality of power to help protect high-end equipment installed by many of its multinational tenants in their offices.
DLF has an office portfolio of 26 million sq ft spread across India.