Karnataka is all set to exploit solar energy in a big way. The state is taking giant strides in meeting its energy needs through solar power. Rooftop solar development has caught on with government and corporate sectors alike. Sun also powers mega infrastructure projects like BIAL and BMRCL. At Kempegowda International Airport, a 0.5 MW solar project was commissioned on six rooftops in March 2016. The project was completed in just two months. Though it contributes a small percentage of the airport’s power consumption, it reduces the carbon footprint and increases savings. Work on the first solar roof project is also on the tracks for Metro. BMRCL has decided to install power panels on Byappanahalli and Peenya depot rooftops for the 2MW project. Three projects for Railways are under way.
The state’s first 30MW solar farm at Tumakuru has already scripted a success story. Made up of more than 90,000 solar panels spread across 170 acres, it powers several I-T firms in Bengaluru, major industries and five-star hotels. Educational institutions like NITK Surathkal and Manipal University too, have fitted rooftop solar panels. “Though the total rooftop solar capacity is a little over 1,000 MW today, the growth is pegged at 100 percent annually for the next five-six years. By then, the solar industry will provide a significant share of country’s power,” says Andrew Hines, Business Development Head (South), CleanMax Solar, India’s largest rooftop solar developer.
“In India, our firm has commissioned more than 60 MW of rooftop projects. In Karnataka, we started in 2014 with a 1 MW rooftop project in Bengaluru. Now, we supply more than 15 MW of power to the IT industry through rooftop and solar farms. We also have projects in Mysuru, Udupi, Dharwad and Tumakuru,” he says. “Proper implementation of net metering policy, which has been rolled out in several states, may give a fillip to the solar revolution in the state.”