In order to meet their own power consumption needs owing to its advantages, several spinning mills and garment units in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu have set up solar panels on their rooftops.
Solar rooftop panels are also being set up by spinning mills and garment units to be ready in case the state government decides to implement the Solar Purchase Obligation Regulation.
Tamil Nadu government had announced a Solar Policy in 2012 stating that every high-tension consumer should fulfill solar purchase obligation to the extent of six per cent of the consumption, to which Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) agreed quoting Section 108 of the Electricity Act and passed the Solar Purchase Obligation Regulation. This act was, however, questioned by the industry associations, and Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) made it clear that Section 108 of the Electricity Act need not be made mandatory. But the APTEL order has been challenged in the Supreme Court, and the matter is still pending.
“A large number of garment units and some spinning mills have installed rooftop solar plants to fulfill the obligation if it comes at any point of time,” Dr K Selvaraju, secretary general, The Southern India Mills’ Association said.
“There is a vast area at the rooftops of factories and the solar energy technology has improved a lot, making it advantageous for the mills to avail this technology. The investment per megawatt (MW) has reduced by 5.5 per cent to 6 per cent. The plant load factor has also improved with the tracking system, so as to harvest more amount of solar energy,” he said.
Some investors have even come forward for Build-Operate-Transfer (BoT) mode (a form of project financing), so that it is advantageous for the textile mills to avail benefits of solar energy.
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