1. Agriculture World

Chandigarh Plans to Install Solar Panels on Houses at No Cost

During a recent JERC hearing, the petitioner (CREST) claimed that the issues raised by the UT Electricity Department (respondent) had been addressed and that the department had agreed to the new business model submitted to the commission for approval.

Shivam Dwivedi
Rooftop Solar Panels
Rooftop Solar Panels

The city will be the first in the country to enlist private players to install rooftop solar plants on private residential buildings at no cost. After receiving a lukewarm response from city residents who were unwilling to pay for a rooftop solar plant, the Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST), the nodal agency for the installation of solar photovoltaic (SPV) power plants on rooftops, proposed a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model to the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO).

Later, CREST petitioned the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for approval of the business model framework for a third party to install grid-connected rooftop power projects for domestic consumers under the RESCO BOT business model as per provisions of the JERC.

During a recent JERC hearing, the petitioner (CREST) claimed that the issues raised by the UT Electricity Department (respondent) had been addressed, and that the department had agreed to the new business model submitted to the commission for approval.

The Electricity Department stated that they had agreed to the business model. The department has also agreed to the terms and conditions of the Quadripartite Agreement (QPA), with the exception of a provision relating to power banking in the said QPA. The petitioner and respondent have also stated that, once the issue of power banking has been resolved, they will submit the initialised QPA to the commission for consideration within a week.

According to Debendra Dalai, Chief Executive Officer of CREST, the UT is expected to receive JERC approval for the implementation of the business model in the city soon. He stated that the city was getting ready to implement the RESCO model on private residential houses.

"It will be a one-of-a-kind model to significantly boost solar power generation, and Chandigarh will be the first city in the country to implement it," he said.

Under the model, a private company will install solar panels without charging homeowners anything. The owners will only have to give the firm space on the rooftop, and they will receive electricity at nearly Rs. 1.50 per unit less than the current rates for the next nearly 15 years. Following the completion of the BOT period, the company will transfer ownership of the solar plant to the owner.

The company will recoup its investment by selling the energy generated by the plant. During the BOT period, the firm will perform all plant maintenance, he said, adding that any excess power left over after the house owner has used it will be transferred to the grid.

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