Mumbai: Taking advantage of the Govt of Goa’s facility for net metering that facilitates the storage of surplus solar energy generated in the grid, the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) has installed a 675 kW solar power plant (90% of its registered Max Demand) at its Sanquelim campus in Poriem, Sattari Taluka.
The facility constructed on an Opex basis by JLTM Energy India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Technique Solaire of France has a PPA signed by GIM with them for a period of 25 years, at a power price that is substantially lower than the commercial tariff imposed by government on privately owned schools.
The Opex contract requires GIM to purchase all the power generated by the power supplier and the net metering permits the consumer to store the excess power not utilised in the grid for use subsequently, except during peak hours. All the capital investment as also the operation and maintenance is ensured by the Opex operator, who guarantees a minimum generation, failing which he pays a penalty equal to the difference between the tariff charged by him and the grid tariff.
Said Chief Guest Nilesh Cabral, Power Minister of Goa, “This premium solar system installed by GIM is the largest in the state. Am also happy to see that the panels used are of premium quality and the very best of what is available. There are various technological advancements being made in the area of power and GIM has sought the best technology and used it on campus. I congratulate the Director and the project team lead by Peter D’Lima who made this possible in such a short time.”
Said Ajit Parulekar, Director, GIM “GIM has always been conscious about the impact of its decisions on the ecosystem around it and has continuously strived to reduce its carbon footprints. Measures include rainwater harvesting, solar-powered street lamps, solar heating, treatment of water for reuse, tree plantation drives and more. GIM is committed to following sustainable practices. The solar project is one such initiative and is aligned to our efforts in adopting sustainable practices on campus. We are possibly the only educational institute in the country to have an energy management system where we track the power consumption pattern across the campus, across buildings and blocks. The consumption pattern is tracked and analysed on a regular basis via a specially designed software.””
The Centre for Excellence in Sustainable Development was officially formed in July 2018 by GIM to contribute to its quest for sustainability and is working on several initiatives. It actively does research and advocacy on energy usage.
The solar cells installed are of the monocrystalline variety that ensures a better solar energy conversion and utilise lesser roof area. Monocrystalline panels also have a much lower degradation factor. GIM is hopeful that with the additional solar cell capacity installed it will maintain a higher guaranteed level of solar power generated. The Solar panels are of 500 Wp capacity and manufactured by Trina Solar of China. The inverters are also imported from China and are of Growatt make.
After signing the power purchase agreement in October 2020, Technique Solaire has moved fast to commission the plant by April 1st 2021.This included the import of the solar panels from China, prefabricating the steel structure in Delhi complete with hot dip galvanising for longer life, and erecting the concrete supports at site. The rest of the materials were purchased locally or transported from other parts of the country. Local support was made available by GIM.
Added PFX D’Lima Member of the Board and Former Director, “The Power Minister readily encouraged the project from the outset. The Govt of Goa were positive in supporting the project with prompt approvals. Special mention must be made of Stephen Fernandes, Superintending Engineer, who held weekly meetings to review the progress and meet deadlines.”
He added that five years ago the central government decided to charge all private educational institutions, the commercial tariff which is higher than even the industrial tariff.
At the same time, consequent to the world movement for renewable sources of power, the cost of PV panels was brought down through technological advances and also through economies of scale. China raised its manufacturing capabilities substantially and today consumes over 252,000 MW of solar energy – more than the next four countries put togetherand is also the largest exporter of solar PV panels. At the Paris Accord on environment, India committed to substantially improve its national energy generation from renewable sources and solar energy became its main thrust area. At the last meeting of the Paris Accord countries, it was agreed that there would be an International Solar Alliance (ISA) established in India to put forward the concept of “One Sun, One World, One Grid “ , to harness the substantial solar energy available worldwide.
He added that Solar energy in some of the larger facilities, in India, is today cheaper than coal-based power.