Solar Rooftop Business Case for an Apartment Society

Solar Rooftop technology has been a proven technology now and significant power is generated worldwide via Solar Rooftop. For a typical society in India, the question is whether there is business case for solar roof top for an apartment society / residential segment.

The business case for a society depends on the following key factors:

$ (a)    Cost of existing sources of power

$ (b)   Generation potential for the society

$ (c)    Cost of Generation

$ (d)   Availability of funds for capital cost

$ (e)   Subsidy and incentive available

$ (f)     Battery back-up or not

$ (g)    Internal use of power vis-à-vis export of power

We would be dealing with detailed analysis of the above in a separate blog.  Let us first look at one very critical consideration of a business case.

A very important point to consider is the PLF (Plant Load Factor) of a solar plant. A typical plant load factor is about 20%. Very roughly it means that the solar plant operates only 20% of the day (say roughly 5 hrs in a day). So the society needs to ask a question whether it can utilize the power generated online or whether it needs a battery back-up.

A simple answer is that battery back-up is still a big challenge and results high cost of power. Prima Facie, battery back-up is not recommended for a society.

Coming back to question whether the society can utilize the power generated. Our take is that for any substantial power generated (say for than 25 or 50 kW), that common area power requirements are barely sufficient during the day.

If a society is a single point bulk buyer of the electricity being used in the society, it would then make a good sense for a society to generate the solar power, synchronize it with the grid power and reduce the purchases from grid power during the day time when the solar power is available.

In case a society is not a single point bulk buyer, it has a business case only when it can export the power back to the grid at competitive rates. At present, the regulations at most of the places in India are not supporting of solar rooftop exporting the power back to the grid. The situation is though expected to change soon. Some of states including Delhi has announced that they would be issuing regulations for export of power and net metering from roof top solar.

So get ready for the exciting journey of solar power. It is bound to happen now or later. Share your thoughts and comments on the solar power. You may reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , if you have a question or if you want more information for solar roof tops.

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