Exploring Rooftop & Floating Solar Resources To Accelerate The Solar Sector Growth In West Bengal

Mr. Brijesh Prajapati - Managing Director - India Sofar Solar

Floating solar is picking up in all over the world massively this time. Even India was the third largest solar market in the world after China and the U.S. with 8.3 GW of solar PV capacity installed in 2018. Now a day solar trend is going up with floating solar power plants ideas. However floating solar power plants do
involve a higher maintenance and installation cost. India is investing for floating solar plants due to the growth of population (India is leading with world’s second highest population in the world) and to save a valuable land. Also the cooling impact of water allows the panels to work at a faster pace, producing more energy.The first floating PV plant of 10 KW was installed in a lake in Kolkata (West Bengal) in the year 2014. And after that progressing in the same as recently a 100 KW floating solar power plant was installed in NTPC Kayamkulam in Kerala which is the largest floating Solar Power Plants in India.
Floating solar power energy systems are getting more popular in India because they can be built on industrial water bodies like wastewater treatment plants, cooling facilities in factories and power plants etc.The use of floating solar panels has only started to emerge recently. By placing floating solar panels systems many space issues are resolved. The use of floating solar has grown massively in recent years, with several countries across the world installing them. A big advantage of floating solar panels is rather than taking up valuable land, you can make use of wasted water bodies. As per the market reviews in the past seven years, industrial demand had increased by 27.22%. In fact they are ready to fulfill heavy industrial demands when required. WBREDA conceived a proposal to electrify five villages in Sundarbans with renewable Solar Energy Systems and also Government of India sanctioned the project as per the proposal. WBREDA has already completed some project with installation of approximately 6100 Nos. we are looking forward to develop west Bengal as largest states of india using floating solar systems.


Mr. Ahsim Ali- Chief Marketing Officer AlienSolar (Orrand Technologies Private Limited)

The renewable energy sector in West Bengal has achieved significant improvements over the years. We have seen an increase in the number of installations in the state primarily in the commercial and industrial segment, credit of which can be given to net-metering policy which helps reduce the electricity
bills in a large way. In the near future, the numbers are going to rise exponentially but still the volume will be on a miniature scale with respect to the requirement of the hour.
West Bengal has a lot of roof space available in the residential segment as well but the affordability of solar system does not make the system feasible to residents according to
the present policies by electricity regulatory commission. Grid-tied systems cannot be availed by residential consumers but once we see the policy change in the residential segment we can expect an increase in the number of installations in the residential sector.
In certain industries lately, we have a slowdown in solar plant installations due to the change in tariff from TOD to Non-TOD once the consumer opts for net meter. This change in tariff alone increases the energy charge by such a margin which reduces the benefit that could be enjoyed because of solar installation. This change in tariff if avoided through gross metering on any other way will encourage more installations in those industries.
The state of West Bengal has a lot of water bodies in form of rivers, lakes which are spread across the region. These water bodies can be utilized for installation of distributed solar system and the benefits can be enjoyed by locals of the region by creating an entity.

Mr. Piyush Jaju- Chief Executive Officer ONergy Solar

West Bengal has a big untapped potential for promotion of rooftop power plants. Rooftop PV targets as thought by MNRE is roughly 2,100 MW, envisaged by Government of India for West Bengal. Of these the major places of potential are Industrial Belts, factories, hospitals, hotel, schools, colleges, residential areas.
In the Solar Rooftop OPEX (Operational Expenditure) model, an investor or project developer (sometimes called Renewable Energy Service Company –RESCO) invests in the CAPEX and consumer pays for the energy consumed/supplied by the solar power project delicately developed for a particular consumer.
In West Bengal solar OPEX model is a surging market with the solar companies selling power directly to the consumers, invariably industries under bilateral contract and this growth has been fuelled by the increased availability of renewable sources at competitive costs near industrial demand centers, declining capital costs of equipment, and rising grid tariff of industrial and commercial consumers.
The inclination of solar industry towards OPEX model with the trend of solar power
thriving in the commercial and industrial sector is probing the solar power developers, EPC providers and solar organizations to offer OPEX model solution. As a leading solar enterprise in India, operating since 2009, ONergy Solar is considerably contributing in the states’ capacity of solar power generation as a major player in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Orissa in OPEX model, making considerable sense for commercial segments as the leveled tariffs are significantly lower than grid-based tariff. In the completion of its 10th year in 2019 a set of highly esteemed customers like Aditya Birla Group, NHPC, Indian Oil, Primarc, Airport Authority, JREDA, WBREDA have been developed evolving across the spectrum of industrial, social, government and corporate sectors with installation/under execution of over 15 MW of solar rooftop systems.
OPEX is the sustainable business model having huge scope in India. For industries and commercial enterprises investing in allocation of resources for solar power installation is a matter of hassle. So, for them harnessing on solar power at Zero Upfront investment is the viable option and also getting rid of all the operation and maintenance charges. The main highlight of ONergy Solar is the PPA (Power purchase Agreement) tariffs offered by us which is reflective of market dynamics and varies in different states as per the capacity.
Promotion of PV is beneficial to all it provides a massive scope of employment generation, attracting investment & business opportunities and mitigating climate change disasters.

Mr. Sourjya Lahiri - Chief Executive Officer Silaris Energy Pvt. Ltd.


In places of high population density like West Bengal, green/ renewable energy options like Rooftop Solar and Floating solar are viable for growth in Solar Energy generation. With population vis-à-vis landmass ratio being low, there will be a time when we shall not have enough landmass left for implementation of ground mounted Solar Grid units. The local DISCOM does need to re-consider its net-metering policy, which presently does not permit facilities to individual home-owners. However, with Rooftop being implemented in schools, institutions and housing societies, there has been a surge of Solar Energy generation growth in the region. With further introduction of Floating Solar, stagnant water bodies that lay in shadow free areas will also come to use. West Bengal alone is due for up-sizing its Solar Energy generation by a minimum of 200MW in recent future. If we take the Easter Region in general, North- East states are looking to convert to green and smart ways, as they prepare for the 2022 National Games. Thus, for the Eastern region, rooftop solar and Floating will play a major role to further the renewable energy drive.







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