Visakhapatnam: With a number of urban consumers from apartment complexes, hotels and educational institutes coming forward to install rooftop solar grids, solar power development is slowly but surely picking up momentum in city. Also, there has been a considerable growth in the demand for solar PV pump sets in the rural areas within the district.
As per discom Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) statistics, till February 2018, 563 rooftop solar grids were synchronized with the grid providing a total capacity of 6,837 kW with another 736 units of 3,651 kW capacity which were yet to be installed.
People are being more conscious and realising the need to switch to energy efficient and clean renewable energy sources, which is touted to be a reason behind this trend. Adding to the momentum, the Greater Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has recently initiated construction of first of its kind floating solar farm of two MW capacity at Mudasaralova reservoir and has a similar plan of constructing a three MW solar farm at Meghadrigeda reservoir.
Currently Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is the largest producer of solar power in the district with a 10 MW plant near the airport. Vijaya Milk Products Pvt Ltd produces about 1.15MW of solar power, while Simhachalam Devasthanam is providing one MW with Visakha Diary rounding off to 420 kW. The GVMC has also installed rooftop solar grid of a total capacity of 258.24 kWp.
Some of the educational institutions in the district, such as Gitam University, St Joseph’s College, Avanti Group of Colleges, Timpany School, VCTPL, Lendi Engineering College, NSRIT have already jumped onto the solar bandwagon.
Speaking to TOI Red Solar marketing vice president, Venkatesh Majji said, “We have installed more than 50 residential houses in Visakhapatnam with capacity of 200 kW and commercial installation capacity of 800 kW.”
“ There is a huge scope in city, especially in residential sectors as 30% subsidy from ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is given for residential houses if it is under five kW.”
“However, all the options available in the solar industry are not being explored fuly by the public,” said T Pradeep, manager of SM Renergy solar firm.
P Srinivas Babu, managing director of Hotel Rockdale Clarks Inn said that they have installed solar water heater to conserve energy and use eco-friendly clean energy.
B Mahalakshmi Naidu, an employee with Vizag Steel Plant has installed one kW roof-top on grid at his home. “People mistakenly think it is complicated and costly affair but I have applied for subsidy and got it easily and my current bill has reduced considerably even during peak summer,” he said.