National

Farooq to launch solar rooftop plant scheme in Kerala

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 10, 2013

To be executed with financial assistance from the Centre, the programme will generate a total of 10 MW annually.

Union Minister for Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah will launch an off-grid solar rooftop power plant programme here on Monday.

The programme is being spearheaded by the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), Kerala.

1-CRORE UNITS

ANERT is an autonomous body under the State Government and drives its renewable energy initiatives. Initially, rooftop programme will involve equipping 10,000 houses across the State with solar power plants of 1 kW capacity.

To be executed with financial assistance from the Centre, the programme will generate a total of 10 MW annually. Cumulatively, this will amount to about one crore units of power and is expected to help bridge demand-supply gap in power.

Biggest advantage with off-grid solar photovoltaic (SPV) plants is that they do not suffer from issues related to transmission loss. They ensure round-the-clock and uninterrupted power supply while saving 100 to 120 units of electricity every month.

COMBINED SUBSIDY

Each unit with solar panels, battery bank, and inverter would cost Rs 1.77 lakh to Rs 2.05 lakh, M. Jayaraju, director, ANERT, said. Beneficiaries will be eligible for a combined State-Central subsidy of Rs 92,262, he added.

The system would come with a warranty of five years. ANERT has approved 15 agencies to implement the scheme. Jayaraju said that a grid-fed system that can work without storage batteries was expected to be in place within the next five years.

The batteries alone take up 40 per cent of the cost of an off-grid solar power plant, he said. “We will have to overcome grid stability and administering problems. Once that is done, the feeding tariff can be fixed.”

LAND PLANT

Meanwhile, ANERT expects to start work on a 2-MW solar power plant at Kuzhalmannam in Palakkad this year. Estimated to cost Rs 24 crore, the plant would come up on 13 acres of land.

“Power generated will be fed into the State grid. Since the land is in our possession, we expect no hurdles to the project,” he said.

The falling price of solar panels, he said, was expected to bring down estimated costs associated with the project.

>vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 10, 2013

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