Vipra coop. sees setting up of solar plant as a lucrative venture

The mini-solar power plant installed at the rooftop of Vipra Credit Cooperative Society’s office building in Shivamogga.— Photo: VAIDYA

The mini-solar power plant installed at the rooftop of Vipra Credit Cooperative Society’s office building in Shivamogga.— Photo: VAIDYA  


Installation of a 5 kW unit is said to cost Rs. 5.25 lakh

The Vipra Multipurpose Souharda Credit Cooperative Society, located at Vinobha Nagar here, has not only attained self-sufficiency in its electricity needs by successfully tapping the solar energy, but also planned to project it as a model for revenue generation.

Frequent power outages in recent times had affected the day-to-day functioning of the cooperative society. A.R. Prasanna Kumar, president of the society, told The Hindu that when the duration of power cut was too long, even the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system installed at the society used to stop functioning. As a solution to this problem, it was decided to tap the solar energy.

Two mini-solar energy plants of 5-kW capacity each were installed on the roof top of the building of the society. An on-grid inverter that converts direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) was also installed. After catering to the local load, the surplus power was imported to the grid.

The cost of installation for the two mini-solar plants was Rs 10.5 lakh and they were commissioned in September. Around 1,400 (700x2) units of power is being generated from the two plants, every month. The average monthly electricity consumption of the society was around 400 units and the remaining 1,000 units were sold to the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (Mescom at Rs. 9.56 a unit.

Apart from saving the electricity charges of around Rs 4,000 a month, the society was earning around Rs. 9,000 a month by selling the surplus power. To ensure optimum power generation during low-light conditions, copper indium diselenide solar cells have been installed in the panels.

Barring the wiping of dust that gets accumulated on solar panels, there was no other maintenance cost involved, he said.

Mr. Kumar said that the society had decided to motivate its members as well as the general public to install solar plants on the rooftop of their houses. A solar plant of 5 kW capacity generating 700 units of power a month can be installed on a building constructed on a 30 ft x 40 ft site. As the average electricity consumed in a month by a nuclear family of five to six members will be around 60 units, profit can be earned by selling the surplus of 640 units of power.

The society has decided to offer loans at 14 per cent interest a year to general public for installing solar panels on the rooftop of their houses. A sum of Rs. 5.25 lakh would be incurred for installing a mini-solar plant of 5 kW capacity. The society would extend 70 per cent of the project cost, which would be around Rs. 3.68 lakh, as loan and the customers should pay Rs. 6,896 a month as equated monthly instalments (EMI) towards repayment. The Mescom would pay the EMI amount directly to the society. After seven years, break-even point would be reached, following which the customer could start earning profit from the solar plant, he said.

Each mini-solar plant generates about 700 units of power a month

Installation of copper indium diselenide solar cells in panels strongly recommended

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:01:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vipra-coop-sees-setting-up-of-solar-plant-as-a-lucrative-venture/article7816862.ece

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