Within a decade, Delhi’s power demand has gone through the roof. The state has an average demand of 3,500 MW, with a peak of about 6,000 MW increasing at a rate of 8-10% every year.
As of now, Delhi generates a small amount of its demand, and mainly depends on long term power purchase agreements with its neighbouring states. With the consumer interest in the solar market growing up and net metering guidelines in place, it seems Delhi is poised to go solar with a bang.
Solar rooftops have a high potential in commercial, industrial, and government buildings, on account of both availability of space and high electricity prices (for commercial and industrial consumers). Also, since the city is more commercial than industrial, its peak load is mainly associated with air conditioning demand in the afternoon (Delhi demand curve), which adds more weight to the solar argument.
Now that net-metering has started working in Delhi, the discoms in the state have started gearing up to push adoption of solar rooftop projects. Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) has announced plans to produce 400 MW of solar electricity in the next three years. The company had earlier commissioned the US based consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), to study the feasibility of grid integrated solar rooftop systems, demand response and storage solutions in Delhi. As per TPDDL, the study shows a potential of more than 400 MW of rooftop solar power primarily through commercial and industrial consumers in its area of distribution in north and northwest Delhi by 2022. As a first step, the company has invited proposals for installation of Solar Projects of tentative value of Rs 1.20 billion this financial year.
TPDDL has said that customers planning to install solar rooftop systems in net metering mode can either finance their system themselves, or take help from the company for a monthly fee. In the second model, once the system cost is recovered in four to five years, system ownership will be transferred to the consumers.
Apart from TPDDL, the two BSES discoms, backed by Reliance Infrastructure, have also announced plans to push solar rooftop projects. Among themselves, these three discoms supply electricity to about 95% of Delhi.
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