Chandigarh: Center nod to ₹3.25-cr subsidy for rooftop solar power units

{Rooftop solar power plants in Chandigarh}

The ministry had increased the subsidy amount for rooftop solar plants up to 3 kWp capacity from 30% to 40% in August 2019. (HT Photo)
The ministry had increased the subsidy amount for rooftop solar plants up to 3 kWp capacity from 30% to 40% in August 2019. (HT Photo)

The Union ministry of renewable energy has cleared the pending subsidy of 3.25 crore rooftop solar photovoltaic (SPV) power plants. It had been due since 2019.

As per officials of Chandigarh Renewable Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST), the nodal organisation, 421 home owners will receive the subsidy next month.

The ministry had increased the subsidy amount for rooftop solar plants up to 3 kWp capacity from 30% to 40% in August 2019.

Due to administrative issues, the subsidy was delayed at the ministry level, the officials said. As per the norms, the subsidy amount should have arrived in the beneficiary’s bank account within a month of the home owner paying the full cost of the solar plant, but the residents have been waiting for the subsidy for four years.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) in January this year approved installation of rooftop solar power plants on residential buildings free-of-cost in the city.

In order to promote solar power generation in the domestic sector, the administration had made installation of rooftop power plants mandatory for residential houses over 500 square yards. Under the new model, however, the house owner will have to provide nearly 500 sq ft for a 5kWp solar plant.

Under this model, the power generated will be first supplied to the home owner, with the excess power to be fed to the grid. The model will be applicable for capacities from 5 kW to 10 kW for domestic consumers.

All residential sectors, irrespective of plot size, are covered under the scheme. The benefit is being provided on a first-come, first-served basis. This scheme included zero investment, flat solar tariff of 3.29 per unit and free-of-cost operation and maintenance for 15 years till the time of transfer of the plant to the beneficiary. As the system’s expected life is closer to 25 years, the beneficiary will enjoy free solar power for nearly 10 years.

At present, domestic consumers pay 2.75 per unit for 0-151 units, 4.25 per unit for 151-400 units and 4.65 per unit for over 400 units of electricity usage. The minimum roof space must be 500 square feet for the installation of a 5kWp solar plant under the renewable energy services company build, operate and transfer model.

More than 1,000 applications have been submitted by residents for rooftop solar plants.

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