Free of Cost Rooftop Solar to Come Up in Chandigarh

Highlights :

  • Under the RESCO model, private firms will be responsible for developing, installing, financing and operating the rooftop systems in the city.
  • Building owners will get solar electricity Rs. 1.50 per unit less.

Chandigarh is a step away from becoming the first city in the country that will have private players installing rooftop solar systems on private households for free of cost. Under the new business model, the private firms will be responsible for developing, installing, financing and operating the solar rooftop systems in the city. Or the opex/RESCO model, as it is called. The move comes even as the UT has struggled repeatedly to meet targets set for the area under its control, for solar rooftop.

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Chandigarh authorities have informed that under the proposed Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, private solar firms will install rooftop solar panels without charging anything from the owners of the residential buildings. The willing landlords will just have to offer their space to firms and the building owners will receive electricity Rs 1.50 less every unit as against the existing tariff. This facility will be available for the next 15 years.

Once the BOT period is complete, the private firms will handover the ownership of the rooftop solar systems to the owners of the residential buildings. The firms will earn revenue by selling the solar power to the building owner and excess power to the grid system. Even the maintenance of the rooftop solar shall be taken care of by the firms.

Chandigarh has achieved a capacity of about 47MW until now. City’s solar energy target was recently enhanced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) from 69 MW to 75 MW and the city administration has been asked to meet the new target by August 15, 2023.

Just a Step Away from ‘Free’ Rooftop Solar

UT’s nodal agency for rooftop installations, Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST), has proposed a BOT model to the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO). Then CREST filed a petition before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) to get approval for the same.

CREST submitted in the petition that the UT Electricity Department has also agreed to the new business model. The Electricity Department also confirmed the same to JERC.

Debendra Dalai, Chief Executive Officer, CREST, said that the RESCO model will soon be a reality as UT Electricity Department is on board and just a formal go ahead is required from JERC.

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