Even before the present net metering project started in the state to use solar energy and save power, KSRTC had already tapped into the sun in 2012.
In Mangaluru, KSRTC has two solar installations at its bus stand and depot, resulting in huge energy savings to the division.Net metering is a process through which non-conventional energy generated by individuals in their buildings is first used in the building as per requirement and surplus power is fed into the grid. Consumer gets paid back in terms of energy credits and adjustments in the bill against power transferred to the grid.
The Mangaluru Bejai bus stand has four kilo watt installation and a similar installation at divisional workshop at a cost of Rs 11.62 lakh each. These were installed in July 2012. KSRTC divisional controller VI Hegde said these installations were done according to the policy adopted by the KSRTC authorities, when net metering was not in vogue. Unfortunately, the division has not quantified the savings due to use of solar.These solar grids work through inverters which means that all power generated is used for lighting purpose. The division has plans to install net metering units and is planning to send a proposal in this regard to KSRTC headquarters for approval.
The solar policy adopted by Karnataka in 2014-21 allows and encourages consumers to set up rooftop solar photovoltaic systems to consume for themselves and the excess power can be pushed to the grid, for which they will be paid back by the ESCOM at a rate fixed by the electricity regulatory authority in the state. The previous rate fixed by the commission, which is Rs 9.56 per unit, enthused many consumers to go for setting up a solar system and sell power to the state.