Solar power potential in Peenya Industrial Area

Peenya Industrial Area (PIA) is largest small scale industrial sectors within Bengaluru city. PIA is one of the largest Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) cluster in the country. Industries ranging from rolling mills to electrical equipment manufacturing to tool and dye making are present in the area.

Cluster profile

There are around 750 HT 2A (industrial category) consumers under Peenya sub-division of BESCOM (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company). The average contract demand for this sub-division under HT2A category works out to be around 350kVA per consumer. A closer look at the cluster indicates that the consumers with contract demand of <150kVA and between 200-300kVA are equally distributed and account for nearly 50% of the consumer set.


Solar rooftop potential

Under the current solar rooftop policy, consumers could install solar PV up to 150% of their contract demand. So, for a consumer in PIA with 300kVA contract demand, an installation of 450kWp is possible. However, PIA has a wide range of rooftop spaces including asbestos roofing. Most of the roof orientation is nearly south facing but a few roofs are also inclined on the East-West direction. This would technically restrict the installation capacity to 100% of their contract demand or less on an average.

Consumers with large rooftop spaces
PIA average industrial rooftop space

Economic viability

Considering an electrical load profile of an average industrial client in PIA with a contract demand of less than 150kVA the viability of a 99kWp solar rooftop PV is evaluated. Under the existing policies, the base electrical tariff is at ₹ 6.25/kWh with the tariff for excess PV generation fed back to the grid paid at ₹ 6.14 /kWh and hence the capacity of 99kWp and not 100kWp. In the scenario evaluated which is an average case of industries in PIA there is no general potential for PV export.

As the results from the analysis reveal, even with a 99kWp solar PV plant, the average industry reduces net electricity consumption from the grid by 68% on an annual basis. The solar energy estimate is a conservative one considering an E-W orientation. Financially, assuming the current tariffs and capital cost for a 99kWp PV plant, the payback is close to 6 years with the obvious advantage of having a PV plant performing up to 25 years and beyond. However, with 80% Accelerated Depreciation (AD) available for businesses the payback is 5 years or lesser.

Overall, there is a definite net benefit to industries in opting for solar rooftop PV considering increasing grid prices and decreasing solar costs.

  • Reduction in net energy costs which are prone to annual hikes
  • AD benefit is a good enabler for industries

Even as the solar industry moves towards the 500kWp-1MWp sector for rooftops in the country, an average 100kWp solar plant that suits most of the industries in a cluster like PIA will be significant. Assuming a mere 10% solar adoption with 100kWp system the potential translates to a market of around 25MW in the Peenya Industry alone. Going forward, if India has to make reasonable progress in achieving the 40GW target by 2022, industrial clusters like these are significant and techno-commercial viability under current scenario make them a low hanging fruit.

(The post was first published in the guest column of Solarify)

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