PIMPRI: The trend of using low-cost power, such as solar power, is slowly gaining ground in the Pradhikarn area in Nigdi. In all, 30 citizens from Pradhikaran have applied for the net metering facility, while eight of them have started supplying energy generated from their solar rooftop photo voltaic (PV) system.
In the net metering system, a person can apply to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) to supply the electricity generated from the PV system. MSEDCL officials attached with the Nigdi Pradhikaran zonal office said, “As most people within our jurisdiction have their own bungalows, they are coming forward to install the rooftop solar PV system.”
Earlier, when there was no grid facility available, installing one’s own solar power system was not affordable, as it required investment in batteries to store electricity. But the grid facility has provided an opportunity to people with lots of space at their rooftop. Investment in the project can be recovered fully within five to seven years. A solar panel lasts for over 20 years. Energy generated within this period can be used for personal use.
Solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity and inverter, used for aggregating power generated from different panels are the components of the system.
If the solar system is connected to a grid, consumers are required to install two meters, one for one’s own power consumption while another for power transmitted to the grid. Consumers need to pay if they consume more than they produce. If consumers supply more units than they consume, the MSEDCL pays to consumers.
Officials said, “So far, the MSEDCL has not paid to any consumer. But power bills of consumers have been reduced significantly.”
This has not become a public movement due to lack of awareness. Officials and staffers need to be trained properly so that they can give proper information to consumers.
Narendra Bapat, an entrepreneur who installed a solar PV system of 22 KW at his manufacturing unit in the city, said, “Our electricity bill has reduced significantly after the installation of solar PV system. Earlier, we used to pay in the range of Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 per month, which has reduced to Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month, post-installation of the project and connecting to the grid.”
Sukhvindar Bhami, a resident of Pradhikaran, who installed the solar PV system at his residence, said, “We have installed the solar PV system last December. Earlier, our usage of power was 500 to 600 units per month. But after this system went operational, our total usage of six months is merely 180 units. This project has reduced our electricity bills significantly.”