VISAKHAPATNAM : Slowly but steadily the rooftop solar power generation is gaining popularity among consumers in five districts under Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL). As against its target of generating 3.5 MW of solar power during the current financial year, the EPDCL is likely to generate about 7.2 MW of solar power in addition to the 10 MW solar power plant to be set up by Visakhapatnam Port Trust by the end of this fiscal.
“Against the target of 3.5 MW this fiscal, 36 rooftop solar power units have already been synchronised with the grid to generate about 0.5 MW. Another 1.3 MW will soon be sanctioned under the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS),” explained APEPDCL chairman and managing director R Mutyala Raju. By 2019, EPDCL’s target is to achieve 40-MW solar power generation in its area.
Ever since the netmetering facility was launched to promote rooftop solar power generation, the EPDCL received 266 applications from the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and the twin Godavari districts. Once grounded, they could generate about 7.2 MW of solar power. However, the authorities have cleared 253 applications for technical feasibility and of these 205 are pending for grounding by the applicants.
To facilitate installation of the rooftop solar units, the EPDCL has already identified suppliers who offered discounts on the equipment for the benefit of the customers. Further, the EPDCL is arranging bank loans for the customers which can be paid in monthly instalments. Several major banks have agreed to provide loan up to 85 per cent of the total cost of the solar power unit. “The bank loans would be offered at an interest rate of 10-13 per cent varying from bank to bank,” announced a senior official.
Installation of 1 KW rooftop solar power panel would cost `80,000-1.25 lakh based on the quality of the equipment and the manufacturing company. “We have recently conducted talks with the insurance companies as well, to provide insurance coverage for the rooftop solar power units,” said Mutyala Raju. It is learnt that the authorities are contemplating to provide insurance coverage for 1-KW unit with only `100 as annual premium.