When it comes to solar energy, how can Rajasthan, perhaps, the most sun-kissed terrains of the subcontinent, lag behind? Not merely content at its 2.3 GW solar capacity developed by 2018, the state government is busy building renewable energy solutions to contribute to the national target of 100 GW (1,00,000 MW) by 2022. Let’s give you a glimpse of the state capital’s latest solar updates.
JDA’s plans for its headquarters and parks
In the works is the biggest public building energy efficient system of the state – the headquarters and the two primary parks of the city – Central Park and Jawahar Circle – are to be run by solar energy. Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) is planning a 730 kwp rooftop solar plant in the phase 1 stage of the installation. Of the 1.5 lakh electricity units being consumed collectively by the said building and parks each month, an estimated 87,600 units are expected from the solar rooftop plant. Once the solar plant starts functioning, JDA estimates savings worth 6-8 lakhs in its electricity bills per month! That this ambitious project will be the biggest of such endeavours undertaken on any government building in Rajasthan is what the officials of JDA are enthusiastic for.
PPA – the ideal bridge to a solar world
The project is to be set up as per the RESCO ( Renewable Energy Service Company) model. As per this, the chosen firm would be responsible for the installation, maintenance, ownership and operation of the solar rooftop plant. JDA will purchase electricity produced by the firm-owned solar plant on its rooftop. A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will govern the terms and conditions for this purchase of electricity. Since the tariff of solar energy is way below than that of conventional power, one gets to make huge savings in electricity bills.
Presently, JDA spends about ₹2.5 crores in electricity bills alone annually, of which ₹2 crores is spent for the headquarters building and ₹25 lakhs each for the parks. With the solar plant beginning to function, the dependence on the conventional grid would be reduced by half, saving them half the money. A part of the money that gets saved will go to purchasing solar electricity under PPA from the firm. As is customary to most such agreements, the PPA will last for 25 years.
Rajasthan, the bounty of a sun-blessed land
As some states worry of lack of space and suitability of climate while mulling over solar power, Rajasthan is blessed with copious barren land and a perennial supply of sunlight. In fact, the estimated solar potential of the land is 142 GW! This coupled with the state government’s investment-friendly directives has made Rajasthan one of the leading producers of solar energy in India. But with the solar goal for 2022 raised by the union government at 5762 MW, the state can’t merely sun itself complacently either. The pink city’s present endeavours bespeak of the state’s sunny resolve to transition to a solar future.