Thiruvananthapuram: The Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) is in the process of rebuilding its business and image that took a severe beating in the aftermath of the solar scam, even as the controversy is back in public focus four years after it first shook Kerala.
ANERT, in fact, had no direct link to the scam. But being the nodal agency for renewable energy projects in Kerala, its name was dragged into it.
The agency that awarded and carried out solar projects was the government organization that took the severest hit from the scam, as its business and revenue fell sharply.
Customers pulled back from contracts. It was a tough time for officials convincing people that its projects were genuine, unlike those of the private company involved in the scam.
“ANERT’s activities were hit between 2013 and 2016 when the solar scam was in focus. It was natural for people to have doubts at that time,” an official at the agency told Manorama Online.
ANERT is currently giving priority to rooftop solar projects, involving houses, apartments and government buildings.
According to ANERT officials, it has so far completed 25 megawatt of rooftop projects, and work is ongoing on another 15 MW.
It facilitates two types of projects: one where the power produced is stored in batteries and consumed locally, and the second where it is supplied to the KSEB grid..
The capacity of rooftop projects at homes with batteries can range from 1 kilowatt to 5 KW. For grid-connected projects, it is 2 KW to 5 KW.
So far this year, the agency has received 1,034 applications for grid-connected solar projects with total capacity of 7.5 MW.
There are some technical glitches currently in linking rooftop units to the grid, and these are being rectified, said officials.
Large buildings can set up solar projects with capacity of up to 500 KW.
Some private hospitals currently generate up to 50 KW.
ANERT is working on a 1-MW unit on the rooftop of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.
It is considering a Rs 10-crore floating solar plant in West Kallada’s brick field.
Another plan is to install solar panels in all police stations in the state.