Very soon, Gandhinagar residents will be able to use their terraces for generating solar power, and revenue for themselves in the process.If you have a rooftop of 1,000 sq ft, you could earn Rs36,000 a year, and that too for the next 25 years, by allowing a developer to use your rooftop for setting up solar power panels.In a first of its kind project, the state government has approved installation of 5 MW of rooftop solar power generation capacity in the State Capital. The project would see investments in excess of Rs50 crore. “The capacity will come up on roofs of residential, commercial and government buildings. The rooftop owners will receive Rs3 for every unit of power generated,” DJ Pandian, principal secretary of energy & petrochemicals department said.
According to industry officials, the 5 MW solar power capacity would lead to generation of an estimated 8.5 million units of electricity in a year. This means that rooftop owners would earn around Rs2.55 crore a year by allowing use of their rooftops for power generation.However, 80% of the capacity planned will come up on government buildings.As a result, the state government alone would earn around Rs2 crore a year by allowing installation of solar panels on its rooftops. The government has selected Azure Power and Sun Edison for developing 2.5 MW of rooftop solar power generation capacity each in Gandhinagar, which is expected to become operational in the coming months.According to officials, Torrent Power would purchase the entire power generated from rooftops, which would help it meet its renewable purchase obligations. “The rooftop owners would get a part of power generation revenue for 25 years. This is the most lucrative rooftop monetization policy in the whole country,” Inderpreet Wadhwa, CEO of Azure Power, told reporters.
What is more is that the state government plans to replicate this model in other cities. “We want to tap solar power generation capacity to the fullest. We also plan to implement the rooftop solar power generation project in Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Mehsana in coming months,” said Pandian.However, what could disappoint Amdavadis is that Ahmedabad is not yet among the cities short-listed for expanding the project, according to Pandian.