South Mumbai mosque installs solar panels, trims power bill

Madarsa-e-Mohammadiya in Agripada has managed to reduce its electricity bill by 75%

mumbai Updated: Mar 08, 2018 12:56 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,solar energy,mosque
Solar panels installed atop Madarsa-E-Mohammadiya mosque in Agripada, Mumbai. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The Madarsa-e-Mohammadiya, also known as the Akash Masjid in Agripada, which recently became the fourth mosque in south Mumbai to adopt solar energy, has managed to reduce its electricity bill by 75%.

The two-storey mosque, located within Akash Apartment complex in Ghass Gali, installed the solar project during the last week of January. With 27 rooftop panels, the 9 kilowatt-power (kWp) system generates 35 kilowatt-hour (kWh) electricity on a sunny day that drops to 32 kWh when there is partly cloudy sky. The system powers 13 air conditioning units, 30 lights and 20 fans across the entire mosque.

For a comparison, a two-bedroom apartment in Mumbai consumes 10-12kWh electricity daily.

The mosque currently saves Rs11,000 in electricity expenses per month, said trustees. “Our bill was Rs16,000 prior to installation, and our latest bill was less than Rs4,000. While installation we were skeptical about the benefits of such a system. However, this renewable energy source is both cost-effective and environment-friendly,” said Irshad Lakdawala, trustee, Madarsa-e-Mohammadiya trust.

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. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a 9 kWp system mitigates carbon dioxide emissions by 277 tonnes over 10 years, which is equivalent to planting 443 full-grown teak trees.

The trust decided to adopt the system after witnessing similar examples from mosques such as Jama Masjid in Kalbadevi, Minara Masjid at Mohammed Ali Road, and Zakaria Masjid in Masjid Bandar, the other three mosques in south Mumbai that adopted solar energy. “It is our responsibility to tell devotees about the benefits we get from nature, which will in turn help us save nature. We witnessed the success stories of these mosques, and began replicating their efforts for a green future for the next generation,” said Haroon Bhai Fazlani, another trustee.

The trust spent Rs6.88 lakh to install the solar system. “This is one of our installations on a small scale. However, the impact is massive as it highlights that even small societies or buildings can adopt solar and save three-fourth of their electricity expenses,” said Muhammad Sohail Shaikh, chief operating officer, Green Power Projects Pvt Ltd., which installed the project. He added that the mosque will recover the cost of installation in four years.

The renewable energy source will not only benefit the mosque but even areas in the city where electricity is under-supplied. A net-metering system has been installed, which allows surplus power generated by solar to be exported back to the grid and any deficiency is imported from the grid.

“Witnessing the benefits of this system, the Akash Apartment complex is also planning to install solar, and post their installation, our aim is to make this entire complex zero energy,” said Iqbal Ansari, another trustee. A zero-energy building is a building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the energy used up by the building comes from renewable energy sources.

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 08:37 IST