Government schools in Delhi are seeking substantial income, in addition to a significant reduction in electricity bills, as they start to make money selling the electricity generated by the solar systems installed in their buildings. Under the scheme of the Center for Solarization of Government Buildings, the Delhi government has developed more than 21 megawatts (MW) of rooftop solar plants in 150 public schools. These are expected to save around Rs 8.8 crore on their electricity bills cumulatively each year, in addition to earning Rs 8.5 crore for selling energy.
The rooftop plants are being installed under the ‘Resco’ model, in which solar projects are built and operated by the developer using their own capital, taking the financial burden off the schools. The developer will get Rs 3.13 for each unit of electricity generated by the schools’ rooftop plants. The rate is 65% lower than the electricity rates paid by schools to energy distribution companies (discoms). For any surplus power generated, the discoms would buy the schools’ electricity at Rs 5.65 per unit.
As consumers globally are gradually becoming ‘prosumers’, those who produce energy, consume a part of it and also give a part to the grid, Delhi schools are seizing this opportunity to generate green energy and improve your finances. One kilowatt (kW) of rooftop solar installation requires approximately 10 square meters of shadow-free surface. Among schools in Delhi, the largest rooftop solar plants have been installed in West Vinod Nagar (195 kW), Rohini (170 kW), Rouse Avenue (150 kW), East Vinod Nagar (146 kW) and Rajokari (127 kW) .
Incidentally, West Vinod Nagar currently houses the largest rooftop solar plant of a government school in the country. “Our projects would cumulatively save 63,000 tonnes of CO2 over the life of the projects and contribute significantly to the rooftop solarization targets of Delhi and India,” said Sharavan Sampath, CEO of Oakridge Energy, which is one of the main promoters of the solarization of government schools. tender and has installed solar units at West Vinod Nagar school.
The projects are being built under the central government scheme for the solarization of government buildings, where the Center pays 25% of the cost of capital in advance. Of the total solar capacity of 36,910 MW, only 3,402 MW currently comes from rooftop solar. The government aims to have 40,000 MW of rooftop solar capacity by 2022. To promote rooftop solar energy harvesting, the central government approved the second phase of the grid-connected rooftop solar program in February. The new scheme provides central financial support of Rs 11,814 crore to provide funding for 20-40% of the cost of rooftop solar, depending on the size of the facility.