BSES Discoms have announced the expansion of their Solar City Program by launching ‘Solarise Safdurjung” and ‘Solarise Karkardooma’.
Two Delhi Discoms in BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) claim to be committed to aggressively promoting rooftop solar in South, West, East and Central Delhi. As a result of which, there are currently over 2800 (BSES estimate) rooftop solar installations in the areas under their management/ distribution, with an installed load of just about 90 MWp. Taking this commitment further, the BSES Discoms have announced the expansion of its Solar City Program by launching ‘Solarise Safdurjung” and ‘Solarise Karkardooma’.
The ambitious Discom led and community-based demand aggregation programs were launched in virtual ceremonies in presence of the RWAs from the two areas. This initiative, a pilot, is pursuant to a Statement of Intent (SoI) signed by the US Department of State and India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under the US-India Clean Energy Finance Task Force on November 15, 2018. It has been rolled out in partnership with SmartPower, a US-based non-profit organisation focused on local community campaigns to increase consumer adoption of clean energy, WeeGreen and Council on Energy Environment and Water (CEEW), a leading not for profit policy research organisation.
Led by BRPL and BYPL, the ‘Solarise’ initiative aims to maximise the utilisation of solar rooftop potential in a targeted area. The program’s objective is to create a market-based approach for scaling-up rooftop solar and introduce community-led demand aggregation for deployment. In the first phase, the campaign will aggressively promote the adoption of rooftop solar in Safdurjung and Karkardooma areas as part of ‘Solarise Safdurjung’ and ‘Solarise Karkardooma’. Subsequently, depending on the results, the program will also be launched for other BSES areas.
From reaching out to the consumers, resolving their queries, organising their consultations with solar installers and financiers, interactive testimonials from the owners of existing solar rooftop connections, the entire process will be conducted online. The basic idea of the program is to raise awareness and adoption of rooftop solar through community dialogue and interactions. Though the program is primarily targeted at the domestic consumer and residential societies, commercial and institutional consumers can also participate in the initiative.
Under the Solarise programs, consumers are being offered premium, customised and non subsidised (non Central Financial Assistance) solar solutions, including imported components, easy financing options, extended warranty and additional AMC, etc. under the Capex model. These initiatives are in addition to the existing rooftop solar programs being offered by BSES, wherein consumers can opt for solar under both the Capex and the RESCO models and avail the applicable government subsidies. In both the models, consumer’s excess solar power is purchased by the discom at the rates specified by the DERC.
Besides helping BRPL and BYPL in meeting its renewable purchase obligation (RPO), the pioneering initiative will help the Discom minimise overloading issues in congested areas during the peak summer months. It will also help us in achieving CAPEX deferment for line replacement and unplanned grid up-gradation intermittently.
Commenting on the initiative, a BSES spokesperson said, “this community driven initiative is the latest testimonial of our efforts to aggressively promote rooftop solar. We aim to accelerate rooftop solar development by aggregating consumers and bringing in the necessary participation from developers and financiers.
“The program will educate consumers about the benefits of solar energy while ensuring strict quality compliance of the systems being installed. It will also facilitate various finance options available to consumers. BSES has been at the forefront of promoting the concept of rooftop solar and its beneficial impact on electricity bills. The latest initiative promises to be a game-changer in a bid to accelerate the adoption of rooftop solar in Delhi.”
According to Delhi Solar Policy, Delhi is blessed with 300 days sunny days and around 31 sq. km of roof-top space available for solar panels. This gives Delhi a solar energy generation of around 2500 MWp. As per estimates, while exploitable solar potential in South and West Delhi is around 800 MWp, it is around 200 MWp in East and Central Delhi.