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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

South Mumbai society switches to solar power, saves Rs48,000 a month on electricity bills

This will save the environment from 11.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year.

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2017 09:56 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Residents with the solar panels.
Residents with the solar panels. (Bhushan Koyande/HT)

After adopting solar energy for their electricity requirements, a housing society in Grant Road in south Mumbai is paying Rs48,000 less every month for electricity — a 40% saving.

Additionally, this will save the environment from 11.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year.

Crystal Tower Cooperative Housing Society in Grant Road reduced their monthly electricity bill by 40% after installing a 15 kilowatt power (kWp) rooftop solar system in June, which has 46 panels. They generate 60-70 kWh electricity per day, which stops 35kg of CO2 from releasing into the air daily.

The system is expected to generate 21,000 kw-hr electricity in a year.According to a carbon footprint calculator by the US Energy and Information Administration, one kilowatt hour (kw-hr) consumption of solar energy equals 500gm of CO2 saved.

Solar is an abundant and free source of energy that reduces dependence on polluting sources such as coal and fossil fuels for power. “We are one of the first housing societies in Grant Road to have adopted solar. The idea is to use an energy source given to us by nature and by adopting this measure, we are doing our bit to protect the environment,” said Mashkoor Contractor, chairman of the housing society. “It is wiser to adopt it now before prices shoot up in the future. Even children in our society are being told about the importance of harnessing renewable energy.”

Lights, fans across all common areas in the 15-storey building, elevators and a motor are all powered by solar. The society has 60 flats with close to 250 residents. It installed the system at a cost of Rs10.75 lakh.

“We expect to recover the cost of installation within the next three years,” said Tarique Ansari, secretary of the building. “An monthly electricity bill of Rs80,000 had become very hectic. The most cost-effective and eco-friendly solution was to adopt solar. Now, our bills have come down to Rs32,000. We will be saving Rs2.62 lakh a year.”

The society also installed a net-metering system, which allows surplus power generated by solar to be exported back to the grid and any deficiency is imported from the grid. “On sunny days, the system generates a maximum of 85 kw-hr electricity and during the rains, this drops to 57 kw-hr,” said Muhammad Sohail Shaikh, technical head, Green Power Projects Pvt Ltd that installed the project.

He added that an app has been developed by an Austrian company that manufactures inverters and other solar products. It can tell residents about real-time electricity consumption. “Society members will be aware about the amount of solar generated at any given point and monitor their consumption,” said Shaikh.


“The installation of this solar project in this area is extremely significant because it has become a model society in Grant Road for other residents to shift to this form of energy. There are numerous garbage problems in this area and focus on such environmental benefits will make citizens more aware,” said a senior civic official from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Why you should care

Solar energy are free sources of renewable energy

It does not cause pollution and instead, reduce carbon emissions that come from burning coal, gas and oil for electricity generation

It can be used in remote areas where electricity from the grid cannot be accessed

Items such as street lights, calculators and other low power-consuming devices can be powered

The potential to harness solar energy as a natural resource is infinite