CHANDIGARH: The city’s biggest solar project of installation of 15 megawatt solar plant in the city is all set to be delayed by more than a year. The Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (Crest) had planned to set up 15 MW solar plant at Chandigarh municipal corporation water works in Sector 39.
But the MC has now decided to upgrade water storage capacity in Sector 39 water works, which is presently 45 million gallons per day (MGD). The civic body has decided to spend Rs 38 crore to upgrade underground water storage capacity from 45 MGD to 90 MGD.
A senior official of Crest said that due to upgradation work the design of water reservoirs will be changed in water works. They will now set up solar plant only after completion of upgradation work by the MC. The upgradation work will be completed between 12 to 18 months, he added. The city’s biggest ever solar plant will be built at a cost of Rs 80-90 crore. The UT administration will not spend anything on it. The private company of the developer selected for the project will work on it and sell electricity to the MC for 25 years.
The UT’s department of environment, Crest and MC, Chandigarh have already explored project modalities at the selected site in Sector 39, which was chosen because it has maximum open area. As per plan, solar panels will be installed on seven big water tanks with the support of iron grills. The panels will be installed in such a way that they receive proper heat and do not affect water storage or supply.
Recently, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) had turned down the request of Crest and the MC for allowing solar power generated by the corporation to be fed to grid in gross metering arrangement but to get the billing done on net metering. Net metering is an agreement that allows a consumer to sell excess solar energy to the utility, while in gross metering total solar power generated is exported to grid. According to JERC regulation 2015, 15MW solar plant cannot be allowed to be installed against the total sanctioned connection load of 3,913 KW under net-metering.