On power-save mode: 256 solar panels save Mumbai’s Borivli society ₹97,000 a month
Power generated by the panels light all common areas, run CCTV cameras, lifts, water pumps and fire alarm systems at Bhoomi Green complexmumbai Updated: Feb 12, 2018 11:59 IST
An increasing number of residential buildings are now shifting from conventional electricity to renewable power sources like solar.
In one of the largest residential solar rooftop grid powered systems in suburban Mumbai, Bhoomi Green CHS Limited in Borivli (East) with eight buildings and 256 flats, has been using renewable energy since December 2017 to save Rs97,000 per month, or Rs11.7 lakh per annum, in electricity bills.
The complex only pays the nominal monthly charge for grid supply by a private electricity distributor.
A 74 kilowatt-power (kWp) setup with 256 solar panels atop three buildings helps the society power 100% of its electricity requirements by lighting up all common areas, CCTV cameras, lifts, water pumps and fire alarm systems in the complex.
The estimated electricity generation per day would be anywhere between 240 and 274 kilowatt-hour (kWh), depending on partly cloudy skies and clear conditions.
An average two bedroom-hall-kitchen apartment in the city needs 10-12 kWh electricity per day.
“Energy consumption in cities is responsible for creating a lot of pressure on the environment. The only solution is turning towards a more sustainable way of life,” said Jayshree Mahajan, managing committee member and in-charge of the solar project at the housing society.
“We were ready to undertake this, as it is cost-effective and promotes green energy. For a large society, it is a massive solution to the city’s ever-increasing pollution problem.”
According to the solar rooftop carbon calculator by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a 74 kWp system can help save over 2,276 tons of carbon from being released into the air over 10 years.
The savings in carbon emissions is equivalent to planting 3,641 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.
The housing society managed to install the entire system within one month with the help of Saur Engineers Consultants Private Ltd. and expects to recover the cost of installation, which is Rs47 lakh over the next four years.
“We got subsidy from the state government of Rs12.81 lakhs at 18,300 per kWp for the project in December itself, which helped our expenditures. Now, it will only be savings from here on,” said Dharmendra Songira, treasurer of the society.
“This system is registered in the national data repository as a part of MNRE’s National Solar Mission which is an honour for us as citizens,” said Ajit Desai, secretary of the society adding that after the idea was floated with society members, “there was full cooperation and support from each member.”
A net-metering system was installed with the solar setup, which allows surplus power generated to be exported back to the grid and any deficiency is imported from the grid.
At the end of a financial year, the society will be charged by the power supplier only for the ‘net usage’.
“The net usage savings can be diverted through the grid, and can help electrify over 125 houses without electricity,” said Mahajan adding that the idea was to safeguard better surroundings for the future generation.”