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Tapping sunshine: Tata Power aims to grow solar rooftop business four-times in four years

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Tata Power aims to grow solar rooftop business four-times in four years

Tata Power Renewable Energy, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power Company, plans to grow its rooftop business four-fold to around 1,000 MW from present 250 MW in next three to four years, even as the company plans awareness campaigns in 100 cities by end of FY19.

Ashish Khanna, President — Renewables, Tata Power Group, and Managing director & CEO of Tata Power Solar Systems, told Financial Express, that the company is working with financial companies and at advocacy level to provide a holistic solution to the residentials and commercial & industrials as the segment failed to grow to the level it should have due to inverted tariff structure.

He feels the trust factor for quality of products for 25 years was also missing.

“Even the financial offerings were not there as public sector banks considered them under house loans. We have come out with a scheme with Tata Cleantech Capital to offer the products under a bouquet of offerings to the residential sector. We have started this scheme in Mumbai last month and plan to take this to 100 cities in FY19,” Khanna said.

“We have around 250 MW capacity in rooftop solar and around 10,000 customers as of now,” Khanna added.

The current initiative is to make the residential sector aware of the savings benefits that are available from the project. “Our main intention is to create awareness about the benefits of net metering and savings on electricity. We have been working with the state government to see there is a win-win situation for all.

“We are taking the cream of consumers, who are also selling the power back to the grid. They will also become service providers to the discoms,” he said.

In 2015, the ministry of new and renewable energy announced 40,000 MW target for rooftop installations by 2022 which was backed by a 30% subsidy for residential buildings.

Besides, the government also urged the state governments to announce policies to enable net-metering, a billing mechanism that enables power consumers to be paid for injecting renewable power into the grid.

“However, this failed to enthuse home owners, the majority of whom pay small electricity bills and find the cost of solar equipment prohibitive in comparison.

Commercial and industrial building owners have shown more enthusiasm as their large power bills justify the expense of solar power systems, even though they get no subsidy.

But here, policy and regulation are blocking the way, say a range of industry participants, including installation businesses, consultants and power distribution companies (discoms).

As of March 31, 2018, India installed 2,538 MW of rooftop capacity, according to the consultancy Bridge to India. This gives rooftop solar a 10% share in India’s overall solar capacity installation with large-scale and off-grid solar installations cumulatively nearing 22,000 MW during the same period.

Tata Power Renewables Energy (TPREL) posted a net profit of Rs 71 crore in Q1FY19 as against `56 crore in Q1FY18, while the Walwhan Renwable Energy, the business bought from Welspun Renewable Energy, recorded a profit of `101 crore in Q1FY19 against a profit of Rs 60 crore a year ago.

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