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Want to install a solar plant at home? Just log on and fill in

Raveena Singh

For those who want to have a solar panel installed on their rooftops, life just got easier. The government has invited consumers of all kinds – individuals, commercial, industrial or public institutions — to log onto a website and apply online. It will prompt you to fill in basic information. Once you are done, press the submit button. Soon, a service provider will call you to take it forward.

Chillicious decided to log onto the link available on the website of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and see how it works.

First up, we were asked to choose one of three options: Roof top area (in square meter or square foot), the capacity you want to install in terms of kilo watts or your budget.

For the purposes of our study, we went in for a budget and keyed in Rs 1,00,000 as a reasonable figure for a solar plant. We also gave the average cost for the plant as Rs 4.4 a kilowatt/hour (kWh) a month in Mumbai.

Under the 30 percent subsidy given by the government, the actual cost of solar plant will be Rs 75,000.

Here’s what we found:

As per our budget the solar plant’s size would be 1.3 kilo watt/hour (kWh) of power. Annually, the total electricity generation will be about 2000 kWh and over a period of 25 years it will be about 50000 kWh.

Now, as per our earlier estimate, if we consume 170 units a month at a rate of Rs 4.4 a kWh drawing power from the national grid, the cost would come to Rs 748.

But our solar plant will cost us only Rs 733 a month and Rs 8,800 annually, assuming there is no increase in the slab rate.

An interesting tidbit was how we got to reduce 41 tonnes of carbon dioxide if we installed the solar plant given our specifications. It will be equal to planting 66 teak trees.