Soon, homes can contribute to power generation

Consumers coming under the jurisdiction of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) may soon be able to contribute to the power supply and also gain from it. With the drafting of a solar policy in its final stages, Bescom plans to let homes with rooftop solar units feed unutilised power into the existing grid.

Disclosing details of the project, Bescom Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey said applications for this would be handed out soon.

“While solar energy is produced during the day, it goes unutilised as people are away at work during a major part of the day. Through the new system, this energy can be fed into the grid (once connected). Consumers who agree to this will have to pay the tariff for the difference in the amount of energy imported and exported,” he explained, speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on ‘Electricity governance and planning in Karnataka’ organised by CIVIC Bangalore here on Tuesday.

Mr. Pandey said the basic infrastructure would consist of the regular solar plant, an inverter which is the safety net which will prevent flow of electricity to the grid in case of load shedding (to prevent accidents in case there is work in progress), and a net meter (import and export meter). Tariffs already fixed by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) — Rs. 9.56 a unit for non-subsidised plants and Rs.7.20 a unit for those with 30 per cent government subsidy — would apply.

The Bescom MD said the impact on the load through the project would depend on the popularity of the scheme. “The six hours duration between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. is the peak time for production of solar energy. “The surplus power from here will reduce Bescom’s requirement from the various corporations maintaining generating stations in the State,” he said. Speaking to The Hindu, KERC Chairman M.R. Srinivasa Murthy said the popularity of the project will have considerable impact as seen through the positive impact solar water heaters have had on the load. More so as Bangalore had the most number of solar water heaters in the country.

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