CHENNAI: While the city Corporation’s move towards installing rooftop solar panels in its buildings may be a step in the right direction as far as shifting to renewable energy is concerned, the civic body is still mulling its options if TANGEDCO’s proposal to reduce returns on investment for rooftop solar power consumers is given the go-ahead.
A detailed project report to install solar panels in 1,374 corporation-owned buildings at a total cost of `43 crore, as part of the smart city project, has already been prepared by the city corporation. The solar panels to be installed are to have a total capacity of 5.6 MW.This is in addition to the 60 rooftop solar panels currently functional. According to a corporation official, since 2015, when the 60 solar panels were installed, the Corporation has saved `10 lakh in electricity bills by exporting the excess power to the grid.
However, if TANGEDCO goes ahead with its plans to eliminate the power credit system which allows the consumers to be billed only for the power consumed by him/her after deducting the excess power exported to the grid, it will diminish the corporation’s savings drastically.
The discom had instead proposed to fix the price for solar power exported to the grid at 50 per cent of the lowest solar tender rate quoted during the previous financial year or 50 per cent of the solar preferential tariff rate issued by the TNREC corresponding to the financial year, whichever is less.
This would mean that the discom would pay the city Corporation only around `2 for every unit that is exported to the grid.Corporation officials said that they were holding talks with the government to find a way around the issue, in case the TANGEDCO proposal is given the nod.“There are discussions going on at the government level. But it is not only about the savings, it is also about using renewable energy resources,” said a senior Corporation official.