A survey steered by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) has discovered that the rooftops of 1.4 lakh buildings have the potential to generate 2.5 GW of solar power from rooftop solar systems.
The survey was carried out across 1,176 sq. km in the city. As per the state records, only 205MW capacity of SRTPV (solar rooftop photovoltaic) has been installed till July 2019 in the state, while Karnataka’s solar policy of 2014-21 had set an ambitious target of 2,400 MW for grid-connected solar rooftop projects.
The state Discom will soon allow third-party investors to rent rooftops of domestic consumers and set up SRTPV systems under various business models. It has proposed a capital expenditure of Rs 1,275 crore for the installation of hybrid solar rooftop plants with storage, with a capacity of 1060 MW.
In December 2019, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) had issued an order, detailing four business models to be followed for third-party investment in setting up solar plants at consumers’ homes. A developer/investor can now install, own and operate solar plants on a domestic consumer’s rooftop and sell energy at retail supply tariffs fixed by KERC.
Under the third party investor/ developer model, the consumer buys energy from the developer who installs, owns and operates rooftop solar plants on the consumer’s rooftop. The key driver for the adoption of a third-party investment model is to remove the difficulty of incurring the high upfront installation cost by the consumers and to provide other benefits.
The commission also noted that there is a need for the more proactive and constructive role by the Discoms to facilitate smaller consumers to install efficient rooftop solar plants at an optimal cost, either with investment from the consumers or through third party investments under Third-Party Investment Model or investments by the Discoms themselves.
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