MUMBAI: Wadala’s posh Dosti Acres complex, where the ground caved in a few days ago, has earned one spot of sunshine to elevate the mood. The 84 families of Dosti Lily apartment have installed a 17kW solar power generating unit on their terrace that will be inaugurated on Sunday. The panels are installed at a height of six to eight feet above the terrace floor to avoid the shadow of the building’s water tank.
Members claim this project is the first of its kind in the ‘residential rooftop’ category in central Mumbai. Secretary Vipul Bondal said, “The society invested Rs 8 lakh and hopes to recover this amount within three years by
saving 65% on electricity bills. Our bills amount to Rs 45,000 per month.
Solar power will not only reduce our direct consumption, this will automatically bring us into a lower tariff slab of 0-200 units. So we hope to save Rs 25,000 every month.”
The project was implemented by Kiran Bhagat of Agnigarbha, Thane, and Hemant Parikh of Nextgen Greentech. Bhagat said, “This is the first time we worked with BEST on the net metering concept and they were so professional that we soon went online. With MSEB it takes too long to do so and the consumer suffers.”
Bhagat says in fact, Dosti Lily could save up to 90% on power bills, going by the precedent of Mahavir Nagar in Lokhandwala Kandivili.
Awareness of solar energy is gaining ground by the day. Two weeks ago, the Cheshire Home for handicapped in Andheri East installed a 30 kW rooftop solar power system. It was funded by the Australian Consulate.
The 65-year-old NGO provides rehabilitation and vocational guidance to disabled youth from nearby slums. “We faced a unique dilemma while implementing this project. Our campus is so thickly wooded we could scarcely find a structure that receives direct sunlight for us to mount the panels,” laughed PM John, chairman of Cheshire Home Mumbai. “We expect that our power bills of Rs 60,000 per month will be halved. This system will help operate our lights, fans and all appliances except heating.