Chandigarh to Commence Free Rooftop Solar Plant Installation in September with 22.5-Year BOT Period

CREST’s Game-Changing Solar Initiative Powers Up, Providing 8.5 MWp Solar Energy and Affordable Rates

Chandigarh, September 1, 2023 – The Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST) is set to kickstart its ambitious initiative of installing rooftop solar plants for residents starting in the second week of September. After months of negotiation, a 22.5-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) period has been officially finalized.

CREST had received an overwhelming response, with 1,300 applications from residents seeking the free installation of rooftop solar systems, collectively generating 8.5 MWp (megawatt peak) of solar power. This project received the green light from the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission earlier this year, employing the RESCO (renewable energy service company) model for grid-connected rooftop solar systems.

Initially, the project faced a delay when CREST and the corporation couldn’t agree on the BOT period, with CREST proposing 20 years and the corporation insisting on 23 years. However, the administration has intervened, urging a compromise at 22.5 years to expedite the project’s commencement.

According to a senior CREST official, installation work will commence shortly after receiving approval from the UT administration. Under the RESCO model, a private company will develop, install, finance, and operate the rooftop solar power plant during the BOT period. Homeowners will benefit from a fixed electricity rate of Rs 3.23 per unit during this time. Upon completion of the BOT period, ownership of the plant will transfer to the customer without additional charges, providing access to free solar energy for at least 2.5 years.

Currently, domestic consumers in Chandigarh pay varying rates for electricity, with Rs 2.75 per unit for purchases under 151 units, Rs 4.25 per unit for purchases between 151 and 400 units, and Rs 4.65 per unit for purchases exceeding 400 units.

Residents interested in the solar plant installation can still apply at This initiative aligns with the UT administration’s mandate, issued in May 2016, requiring the installation of rooftop solar plants in residential units of 500 square yards or more and in group housing societies. Previously, homeowners received a 30% installation subsidy, but under the RESCO model, these systems will now be installed for free, reducing costs from Rs 60,000 to Rs 42,000 for a 1 kWp plant with subsidies.