The Haryana government has decided to usher in the New Year with one of the biggest pushes for solar power in the country. The state has made it mandatory for all buildings on plot size of 500 square yards or more to install rooftop solar power systems by September 2015.
The order will be applicable to private bungalows, group housing societies, builder apartments, malls, offices, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals — any building, new or old, that meets the plot size criteria.
The government will offer a 30% subsidy on installation costs on “a first-come-first-served” basis, which means it would depend on availability of funds.
The order, passed by the department of renewable energy, is in line with the state’s solar power policy framed in September 2014, officials said. Its implementation will help the power-hungry state augment generation and ease pressure on its distribution network that’s prone to breakdowns, particularly in Gurgaon where demand is very high.
The minimum solar power capacity to be installed is 1 kilo Watt or 5% of a building’s connected load, whichever is higher. A 1 kW plant can generate up to 4.5 units of electricity a day, enough to power three fans, seven tubelights and a cooler for four to five hours, said Sandeep Yadav, project officer of the state’s department of renewable energy.
Failure to install the solar panels by September would attract penalties between Rs 10,000 and Rs 10 lakh, officials said.
Additional deputy commissioners (ADC) of all districts in Haryana will be the implementation officers for the government’s mandatory solar power programme.
“This policy is being implemented to meet the expected rise in demand for electricity in cities such as Gurgaon,” Vinay Pratap Singh, ADC Gurgaon, said. “All residential buildings on a plot size of 500 square yards and above falling within the limits of municipal corporations, municipal councils, HUDA and HSIIDC (the industry body) will have to install solar power plants in line with the state’s policy. Even educational institutions, government buildings, hospitals, commercial establishments like malls and licenced builder colonies will have to conform to the policy.”
Yadav, the project officer in Gurgaon, said the modalities of connecting rooftop panels with the power grid, through the net-metering system, was being worked out. In such a system, a consumer generating excess power through solar panels can sell the surplus to the grid and get the amount deducted from his or her power bill. “The modalities for the net-metering system should be finalized in two weeks,” Yadav said.
While installation costs of the solar units would not be cheap, Singh chose to emphasize the positives, saying its successful implementation would bring an end to outages, which are long and frequent in Gurgaon and other Haryana cities in summer.