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More ‘power’ to this Mumbai society: Malad residents install solar panels, see 83% drop in bill

Bhoomi Park on Marwe Road has installed a 40 kWp rooftop solar setup, resulting to their electricity bills dropping to ₹15,000 from ₹90,000 per month

mumbai Updated: Apr 30, 2018 13:12 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai society,Green heroes
Residents attend the inauguration of the solar panel installation at Bhoomi Park (Phase 4 ) L wing in Malad on April 22. (Ragul Krishnan/ HT)

Switching to renewable energy from conventional sources such as fossil fuels for electricity generation is becoming a trend for housing societies in the city. These societies are also adopting measures to ensure their waste is treated at source and the burden from landfills is reduced. Such measures need initial investments but are beneficial for the long-term.

One of the societies in Mumbai which are reaping the benefits of eco-friendly means is Bhoomi Park, located in phase 4, on Marwe Road, Malad (West). The two buildings of the society, K and L wings, housing 128 flats and over 500 residents, have installed a 40 kilowatt-power (kWp) rooftop solar setup with 128 panels atop the two buildings (64 panels per building) last month. The result – prior to installation, the electricity bills for the two buildings was ₹90,000 per month, which dropped to ₹15,000 post-installation. This was a whopping 83% reduction in electricity bills.

Solar power lights up all the common areas of the two wings including elevators, staircase, water pumps, parking lights and walkways. The estimated electricity generation per day would be between 120 and 140 kilowatt-hour (kWh), depending on weather conditions such as partly cloudy sky and clear conditions. An average two bedroom-hall-kitchen apartment in Mumbai generates 10-12 kWh electricity per day.

“Our future generation needs to understand that opting for renewable energy is the only way forward, considering the fact that the different activities we as humans carry out often ends in the destruction of the environment. Utilising solar energy is one way of giving something back to the nature, and the fact that it is cost effective, only makes it an added incentive,” said retired Lt Cdr Amit Fernandes, secretary, Bhoomi Park, phase 4.

Manoj Sharma, a management committee member, Bhoomi Park, phase 4, said it was not difficult to convince the society members to install the system.

“Everyone was on-board with the idea to go green and there wasn’t much resistance. The only concerns were the feasibility and financial viability. We took almost two years for the due diligence, detailed planning and final execution of this project,” he said.

Officials from Prajash Projects and Services Pvt Ltd said that the society spent ₹32 lakh to install the system, and the entire cost for installation is expected to be recovered within three-and-a-half years.

“A net-metering system was installed with the solar setup, which allows the surplus power generated to be exported back to the grid,” said Mayur Pande, project manager, Prajash Projects.

Apart from installing solar panels, the entire federation of buildings (phases 1, 3, 4, 5 and New Bhoomi Park) in the society, have also installed a waste management system that helps recycle the organic waste of 600 kg produced by 1,000 residents daily. The society installed an aerobic composting system, which breaks down wet-waste into manure that is further used in the society’s garden and common areas.

“The society has achieved 95% waste segregation into four categories – wet, dry, bio-medical and electronic waste. The 200 kg dry waste generated every day is given to the municipal corporation for recycling,” said Fernandes.

“Waste management at source helps save on cost, labour, and fuel. By not going to landfills, it also prevents air, soil and water from getting polluted. Lastly by correctly processing the waste, value products can be made out of it thereby making it a resource,” said Jitendra Thakkar, management committee member, Bhoomi Park Federation.

Solar system installed equivalent to planting almost 2,000 teak trees

According to the solar rooftop carbon calculator by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a 74 kWp system can help save over 1,230 tonnes of carbon over 10 years, which is equivalent to planting 1,968 full-grown teak trees. Solar energy is a free source of renewable energy that does not cause pollution and instead reduces carbon emissions that come from burning coal, gas and oil for electricity generation.

First Published: Apr 30, 2018 13:09 IST