Surat becomes the first solar city of India

Surat is aiming to be first solar city of the country, with 25 MW of solar power by February2019. It already has 15MW installed capacity of solar power and tops the chart in the country. All together, 4,000 solar panels of different capacities were installed in the city which produces 15 MW of solar power.

The city administration received 4,500 applications from residents and commercial establishments in phase 1, until September 24. It received another 1,000 applications in phase 2 that began from September 24 and ends in September 2019.

The second phase will help add another 10MW in the installed capacity of solar power to take it up to 25 MW, said KH Khatwani, additional city engineer, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC).

The subsidies on solar panel have been increased by the Ministry of new and renewable energy to promote use of clean energy. Earlier September 24, one kilowatt of solar panel would cost Rs.69,000. But now the cost had been reduced to rs.48,300.

The rate of conventional energy has gone up by 3 to 5 percent while the cost of the solar panel has fallen. This may encourage people to install solar panels on their rooftops which will bring down their energy cost by at least 50 percent in future, Khatawani added.

A survey carried out 18 months ago by the Energy and Resources Institute had found that Surat had a potential to generate about 418 MW of solar energy from panels installed on rooftops. Rooftops of houses in the city can generate 179 MW, whereas commercial establishments 210 MW, along with educational and health organizations 23 MW and similarly the government offices 6 MW of solar power. Solar power panels on SMC building already help produce 5MW of solar power. Surat is expected to produce 50 MW of solar power by September 2019.