Close to 900 households in the city will have rooftop solar power plants in the next three months! Till September-end, only 107 residents had applied for rooftop solar plant in the city. However, there has been a surge in the interest among citizens and property owners to install 1 KW plant of late, sources in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) said. The number may go up further as the state government has extended the registration deadline to November 30, 2016. “Due to festive season and holidays, many residents were unable to register for setting up solar power plants. However, with the date extended, we hope many more would do so in coming days,” said K H Khatwani, additional city engineer, SMC.
As an additional advantage, state government has also scrapped the Rs 1,100 registration fee. “Till last month, one required 2KW power load to install a 1KW solar power plant. Only then, half the power could be solar energy. However, the government has scrapped this guideline, too, which would enable more small households to apply for rooftop plants,” said Khatwani. The state government has set a target of installing 1 lakh solar power plants in first phase of the project to reduce the dependency on conventional electricity. Gujarat Energy Development Agency’s (GEDA) is the nodal agency for the project. Under this scheme, people buying solar energy power plants would get 40% subsidy as the state government would pay Rs 10,000 per KW and central government would give 30 per cent subsidy on the cost of power plant. On a long-term basis, a one KW solar energy power plant could reduce the household energy bill by half for 25 years.