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GHMC’s solar project finds hard to get takers: Report

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporations’s (GHMC) solar project finds hard to get takers claims a report. According to Deccan Chronicle the corporation installed rooftop grid connected solar power plant on its properties in a bid to save power and promote use of clean energy , however it now facing roadblocks.

In 2016 the corporation conducted a survey to identify suitable properties to set up roof-top solar panels.  GHMC even hired two consultants who identified 42 properties out of 942 for solar project in February 2017 notes the report. According to corporation official installation of solar panels would save a monthly expense of Rs 52.5 lakhs.

The publication notes that a year has passed, but the project is still on the paper. Officials claim that the executing agencies had been shying away from the project since the GHMC had asked them to install the solar panels for free and that they would only pay them later.

GHMC officials speaking to the publication said, the corporation has been consuming 1 lakh units per month, where the cost per unit was marked at Rs 7. The corporation expects to supplement nearly 47% of its total energy consumption through solar power, where the unit cost would be reduced to Rs 3.

Currently GHMC has two options either to go for CAPEX model or RESCO model, under the CAPEX model GHMC will have to bear 15-20 percent of the total cost of the project , while under RESCO model the corporation a renewable energy service company would provide necessary capital for installing and operating the roof-top solar system in exchange for a power purchasing agreement with GHMC.  Under both the models corporation have to enter in 25 years of agreement.

In both models the corporation has to enter into an agreement for a period of at least 25 years. Citing financial implications and the size of the project, the empanelled agency has opted for the Capex model, while GHMC can only afford the RESCO model. When queried on the subject, a senior GHMC official said that the roof-top solar project would take some more time as the empanelled agency was not interested in the RESCO model. He said that due to the project viability and the financial aspects of the project, the corporation could not go ahead with the project.

An official cited above said to the publication that “If the building was to be renovated or if it collapsed in 25 years, the Capex model would not be viable, as the empanelled agency would charge for the replacement of the solar panels. The corporation would have to bear a huge financial burden, hence the Capex model has been ruled out”. He added the corporation is now planning to approach theTSREDCO where the unit cost was fixed at Rs 4.80.

If everything goes well the project is expected to take at least six months to take off.

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