ANALYSIS OF A 1 MW INDUSTRIAL ROOFTOP SOLAR PLANT

Rooftop solar has become a logical choice for industries as it is the cheapest source of electricity in most parts of the country today. Industries that spend a considerable amount of money on electricity every month can now reduce between 20% to 90% of their monthly electricity expenditure by shifting to solar power. With the financing options available for such projects, on a constant rise, solar is here to stay and prosper.

WHAT IS THE AREA REQUIRED AND THE NUMBER OF PANELS NEEDED FOR A 1 MW SOLAR SYSTEM?

A 1 MW solar rooftop system will typically require a shadow-free area of 8,000-10,000m2 and will consist of 3000-4000 panels depending on the wattage of solar panels. You can calculate the details of the system you need here.

1 MW SOLAR PV SYSTEM PRICE RANGE

Over the past years, India has become home to some of the cheapest solar installations in the world. The average cost of a fully installed 1 MW solar system in India is around Rs. 35 per watt or about 3.5 crores for the whole system. For anyone looking to install a 1 MW solar system, this price can be a reference point. Some installers may offer a lower price, while others may offer a higher price. The thing to look for is the comparative value of the system – a balance between the quality of products and price.

The chart below shows the variation of benchmark costs for a 1MW solar system announced by MNRE.

OUTPUT OF A 1 MW SOLAR SYSTEM

The output of a solar system depends on various factors. These include –

·         Location and climate

·         Orientation and tilt of solar PV modules

·         Shading loss

·         Operating temperature

·         Whether the solar panel array is properly matched to the inverter capacity, or not

·         Performance of individual components—Modules and Inverters

The table below shows indicative figures for how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy south-facing 1 MW solar system will generate per day (on average throughout the year) in India’s cities.

CITY WISE PRODUCTION TABLE

Source: Data range via PVwatts, assuming 75% efficiency for the south-facing array at optimum tilt angles.

IS A 1 MW SOLAR SYSTEM RIGHT FOR YOU?

Most industries have a demand of more than 1 MW, but the government has capped the ceiling capacity for rooftop solar systems at 1 MW to make it easy to synchronize with the grid.  1 MW solar systems are on the higher side for medium scale industries (where 300 kW–800 kW are more common). As mentioned above, 1 MW systems tend to be most appropriate for an industry with significant amounts of daytime electricity consumption. We recommend you select a system size that would allow you to consume at least 30% of the solar energy generated.

Also, keep in mind that your DISCOM may have a default limit on solar system size. Check with your solar installer or local DISCOM for more details.

1 MW SOLAR SYSTEM: FINANCIAL RETURNS

Unlike residential consumers, industrial consumers are benefited the most from solar power. There are different business models which allow the consumer to use the power generated and create savings from paying their electricity bills. 

Solar CAPEX and OPEX SWOT Analysis

These days, solar feed-in-tariffs are a secondary benefit of having a solar PV system installed. Likewise, you will benefit the most if you are consuming most of the energy that is generated by the installed solar power plant. Because of the solar feed-in-tariff, rates are now lower than those of electricity from the grid. Thus, the more solar energy you use, the more you will save. Meanwhile, the excess energy generated is injected into the grid for which you earn credits which will, in turn, reduce your electricity bills.

Now, let us see how much an industrial consumer in Bangalore saves from 1 MW solar PV system.

ASSUMPTIONS

On average, the monthly consumption of an industry is around 3,60,000 units per month. They then install a 1 MW solar PV system to reduce their electricity bills. As the consumption is high, they pay per unit cost at the highest slab which is Rs. 7.20 per unit.

COST ANALYSIS TABLE

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