Chandigarh will be the first city in the country to allow private companies to install free of charge rooftop solar power plants on private residential buildings. 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 the Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) with a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
Later, CREST filed a petition before the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) for approval of the business model framework for the installation of grid-connected rooftop power projects for domestic consumers by a third party under the RESCO BOT business model as per provisions of the JERC.
At the recent JERC hearing, the petitioner (Crest) stated that the issues raised by the UT Department of Electricity (Respondent) have been resolved and the department has accepted the new business model submitted for Commission approval.
The electricity department said it has agreed on a business model. Except for a power bank provision in said Quadripartite Agreement (QPA), the Ministry has also accepted the terms of the QPA. Petitioner and Respondent also stated that once the power bank issue is resolved, they will submit the preliminary QPA to the commission for review within a week.
Debendra Dalai, Chief Executive Officer, CREST, said the UT was expected to soon get approval for the implementation of the business model in the city from the JERC. He said the city was all set to have the RESCO model to be implemented on private residential houses “It is going to be a unique model to give a big boost to 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 money to homeowners. The owners will have to give only space on the rooftop to the firm and they will get electricity at nearly Rs. 1.50 per unit less than the existing rates for the next nearly 15 years. When the BOT expires, the company will hand over the solar plant to the owner. The company will recover the cost by selling the energy produced by the plant. All plant maintenance during the BOT period would be carried out by the company, he said, adding that any excess power left over after the owner uses it would be transferred to the grid.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energies may increase the city’s solar power generation target from 69 MW to 75 MW between 2022 and August 15, 2023. So far, UT has achieved around 47 MW of generation.