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Tata target: 400 MW solar power in 3 years

According to reports, by incentivizing rooftop solar generation, Tata Power Delhi aims to produce 400 MW of solar electricity in the next three years.

On Wednesday, the discom held a workshop which unveiled the results of a US study commissioned by the power utility. The results supported the company’s plans for this foray into renewable energy generation.

Tata Power opened tenders to procure solar panels this week. Aimed primarily for commercial and industrial category consumers who have higher tariff, the discom plans to start installing solar panels for interested consumers within the next few weeks.

The results of the study by leading US energy consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) were also shared with senior officials of Delhi government, DERC and experts from the power industry. It was commissioned by Tata Power Delhi in June 2014 in line with National Solar Mission.

“We have received approval from DERC and will begin advertising for the scheme within the next two months. The idea is to reduce cost of power, specifically for commercial and industrial consumers who pay higher tariff at peak hours. They will be able to break even within five years,” said an official.

Consumers may either pay the full cost upfront, go for an installment scheme or procure the panels through a third party after which the discom will provide the net metering and grid connectivity. “The cost of the project would be recovered within five years. For the 20 years thereafter, consumers will be able to get free solar power,” said an official. The lifespan of a solar panel is approximately 25 years.

Praveer Sinha, CEO, TPDDL said, “With rooftop solar power generation, customers will have a chance to choose from traditional as well as conventional sources of power. The findings shared by E3 will go a long way in transforming the power distribution scene in our area of operation and will also provide strategic leads to the power industry as a whole.”

The installation costs for solar generated power is approximately Rs 80,000 per kW. With Tata Power Delhi purchasing solar panels in bulk at competitive rates, officials said that maintenance charges as well as quality control would be covered by them. The only thing still awaited is smart meters, which can record both outgoing and incoming power. “Smart meters ensure network protection and help generate online data. These smart meters are likely to be approved by BIS soon,” said an official.

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