Bescom bets big on solar power

Bescom bets big on solar power

Sunny side: Hopes to get 16MW through rooftop PV units

Bescom bets big on solar power

To avoid a repeat of this year’s dramatic 30 per cent shortfall in supply, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) is frantically looking for alternative energy sources. But can solar energy, which contributed a paltry 2MW to the grid this year, offer a viable solution? It could in a small measure, says Bescom, projecting a 16MW solar supply next year.

Bescom had launched its Photo Voltaic solar rooftop project in November 2014, enabling households and institutions to generate solar energy. But the initial euphoria died down as the high cost of equipment failed to spur mass generation. This is about to change, says Bescom Managing Director Pankaj Kumar Pandey. Reason: 660 new applicants awaiting the power utility’s nod.

Of the applicants, 512 are commercial / residents, 53 are educational institutions, 64 are industrial and seven government organisations. So far, Bescom has given 120 solar connections in its limits. Currently, 400 KW of solar power is generated by the rooftop PV setup installed at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), 100 KW by St. Joseph’s College and another 100 KW by the National Institute of Advanced Sciences (NIAS).

How Solar PV works
Here’s how the solar PV system works: The Solar Modules first convert solar light to electricity. Then the Inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) from modules to Alternating Current (AC). In the third stage, the output from the inverter is connected to the distribution board / Bescom grid.

The system is tied to net metering. Simply put, net-metering means this: When your electricity demand (load) exceeds your solar generation, energy will be imported from the Bescom supply. When your solar generation exceeds your load demand (consumption), the energy will be exported to the Bescom grid.

Net meters (Import-Export) meters that are installed as part of the system, will account the export and import of energy.

Since load demand of consumers will vary daily, net metering will allow them to sell the generated solar energy when consumption is low. The consumer will be paid by Bescom if the net export exceeds the import for a month.

Besides solar, Bescom also relies on Non Conventional Energy Projects (NCEP) linked to wind energy and bio-mass. Although bio-mass output remains marginal, considerable improvement has been seen in wind power generation. On Tuesday, the day Bescom announced a total withdrawal of the four-hour loadshedding, wind power generation stood at an impressive 350 MW.

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