Navi Mumbai society installs 3 solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations

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Published on Sep 30, 2019 12:05 AM IST
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By Badri Chatterjee, Mumbai

A residential complex in Navi Mumbai, in addition to installing a rooftop solar power plant, also recently installed three solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations within the complex. This is the first such project in Maharashtra, and one of the first in India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) confirmed.

By installing the 16 kilowatt-power (kWp) solar project, Shah Complex IV housing society in Sanpada has managed to become ‘zero energy’ — i.e. total energy used annually is equal to renewable energy created on site. The society’s electricity bill has now dropped to zero, against the earlier monthly average of 25,000.

“As a responsible society, we decided to go solar with the objective of leaving behind a liveable earth for our children. The fact that we are now getting a zero bill is an added bonus for us,” said Venkateswaran, secretary of the complex. “Realising that the future is about electric vehicles, we decided to install the solar plant. We are thrilled to be among the first few societies in India to lead the way.”

While solar is a free source of renewable energy that does not cause pollution and reduces carbon emissions from burning coal, gas and oil for electricity, electric vehicles are cheaper to run and do not emit toxic gases like diesel and petrol vehicles. Installed by private company Magenta Power, the project will help mitigate 492 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to planting 787 teak trees.

A senior MNRE official said India will ensure at least 40% of its energy is generated from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. “Small steps like this from the residential sector build the base for us to achieve our targets,” the official said.

Arvind Singh, principal secretary, state energy department, said, “These efforts will boost Maharashtra’s aim of having the highest rooftop solar installations nearing 200 megawatts. We are also providing one of the highest subsidies for such installations.”

Other residents said the timing of their project was appropriate. “We expect homeowners buying new vehicles to move to e-mobility soon,” said Ashok Yadav, committee member.

Prabhakar Verma, another resident, said, “People were reluctant to buy e-vehicles till they know where they can charge them.”

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