Some frequently asked questions about Renewable Energy Systems:-

1. In case of installation of Solar PV Lighting System what will be the available subsidy?

Ans : As per the new guidelines of the MNRE, Govt. of India under National Solar Mission subsidy pattern is as following:

1.   Benchmark cost of 1 KW SPV Power Plant is ` 3.0 lacs. The bench mark cost for 37 Wp Solar Photovoltaic Street Lighting System is ` 11,100/- . Out of this, Govt. of India will provide the subsidy of 30% of system cost.

2.   For domestic (home) lighting systems [from 10W to 200W] Refinance Scheme of MNRE-NABARD has been introduced where both capital & interest subsidy are there. The Govt. of India will provide the subsidy of 30% of system cost. 20% of system cost is to be borne by the user as down payment. 50% of system cost will be available from the bank finance with low interest loan through NABARD The National Bank on Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD). So for further course of action in this respect, interested people may contact to the regional office of the National Bank on Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) in Kolkata (Building: Abhilasha-1, 6 Royd Street, Kolkata – 700016) or its District level offices.

3.  For institutional systems [201 W to 500 KW] only capital subsidy will be available.(Low interest bank loan will not be available.) Capital subsidy is ` 90 per Wp or 30% of the system cost whichever is less for systems having battery. This is for Non-profit organizations. For profit making organizations, subsidy amount will be 70 per Wp. For systems without battery; subsidy will be available in the tune of ` 70 per Wp or 30% of the project cost whichever is less. Any type Solar PV applications like replacement of DG set, Solar Powered Sign Board, Solar Powered Mobile Towers, Solar Powered Pump set, Solar Powered Water Purifier etc. are under the provision of the National Solar Mission and the mentioned subsidy pattern will be applicable for that.

Solar PV HLS is a DC System and separate wiring may be required (cost of the same is included in the estimate, indicated above) for it. However existing wiring of electrified households may also be used by using DC to AC converter. Warranty for module is 10 years & warranty for battery is 5 years. Home Lighting System can be designed to meet up the any load demand of the user to operate light, fan points, TV, computer etc. Generally, two days backup is provided with the home lighting systems—so that systems can be operated at least for two days in case of continuous adverse weather conditions. System reliability may be increased further by providing higher battery backup. Then system may function for three/four days, even in adverse weather conditions.

To design the capacity of Solar PV Lighting Systems, following information are required.

Sl. No  Type of Load Quantity in nos.  Capacity (Watt)  Hours of operation 
For example:  Say  Say Say
 1. Tube Light 05  40 05
 2. Fan 02  100 05

People having conventional electricity at their premises, may avail solar powered inverter, which is nothing but an inverter charged by Solar PV Module. Solar Water Pumping System may also be installed with PV array of 1800 Wp for 2 HP motor capacities. Tentative cost is Rs. 2, 90,000/-. Subsidy will be available in the pattern as detailed above. Solar Powered vaccine refrigerator, solar powered water purifier; solar powered air-conditioning systems are also available in the market. The subsidy pattern may change time to time as per prevailing scheme of the Govt. of India and Govt. of West Bengal.

2. How to reduce electricity bills in domestic Sector?

Ans : To reduce electricity consumption, energy efficiency measures are to be obtained. For example, energy efficient lighting systems are to be installed as per the requirement (type of activity) of the particular room or area. C FL shall be installed at corridors and toilets (instead of incandescent lamp). For areas where lighting systems will be in operation at night for a long time; CFL or LED lamp should be installed there. All existing tube lights having 40 W capacity should be replaced by energy efficient T 5 or T 12 slim tube lights. Solar Water Heating System can be installed in the place of Electrical Geyser to avail hot water with 50-850 C temperature all through the year. The above replacements will correspond to reduction of consumption of electricity without compromising the existing activity level. It is to note that energy efficiency is the cost effective and viable measure to reduce the electricity bill.

3. Will solar electricity reduce the Electricity bills?

Ans : The reply of this question is clearly No. If Solar system will be installed, it is observed that within the life span of the systems, its cost cannot be recovered from the savings of electricity due to the solar system. But solar system can be availed as a reliable option of power supply which is free from external incidents like failure of thermal power plant, failure of local grid etc. It is also a clean and pollution free source of electricity.

4. How to avail subsidy?

Ans: To avail subsidy, the individual (for systems up to 200Wp capacity) may contact to NABARD. Institutions have to apply to WBREDA mentioning the specific requirement in terms of wattage and hours of operation as per format in this respect which is available in WBREDA & MNRE websites. Systems can be installed only after obtaining subsidy sanction order. No subsidy will be available in case where systems have already been installed before obtaining the sanction of subsidy. The subsidy pattern may change time to time as per prevailing scheme of the Govt. of India and Govt. of West Bengal.

5. What are off grid and grid connected system?

Ans: Under NSM there are two types of power plants, off grid and grid connected.

a)  For off grid power plant, capital subsidy will be available @ ` 90 per Wp or 30% of the project cost whichever is less in case of government/government aided institutions and individuals. The subsidy will be @ ` 70.00 Wp for private / commercial organizations. Power plant can be installed for the capacity range of 201 Wp to 500 kWp. The application form in this respect is available at WBREDA Web site (www.wbreda.org.). The detailed project report (DPR) is to be prepared and to be submitted to WBREDA for obtaining capital subsidy in respect of off grid power plant. At present WBREDA is working with 2.5 kW power plant at Durgapur Government College, 4 No. 1 kW power plant in Purba Midnapore District, 100 KWp Power Plant at Pailan School, 100 KWp Power Plant at Calcutta Institute of Technology etc. The 100 kWp power pant at Heritage Institute, Kolkata has already been installed by WBREDA.

b) For grid connected power plant, no capital subsidy will be available. Low interest loan may be available from the IREDA (Web site www.ireda.in Ph.No.01126717400 to 12) upto 70% of the project cost. The balance 30% of the project cost is to be borne by the developer. The Govt. of India has entrusted the trading arm of NTPC (Namely NTPC Vidyut Bapar Nigam Ltd. or NTPC VVN) to purchase first 1000 MW solar power which is to be produced under the scheme. The preferential tariff (kindly note that it is not the fid in tariff) has been declared as ` 17.91 per unit by the CERC. The developer has to allow discount on it. The NTPC VVN will purchase power from the developer, where from the solar power may be available at the cheapest price (it means those who will allow the maximum discount). For rest of the project (beyond the first thousand MW) the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is to be made with the local distribution utility like WBSEDCL, CESC etc. in West Bengal. Here tariff will be guided by the state electricity regulatory commission.( for West Bengal it is WBERC, web site www.wberc.net.in. Phone No.033 23593397-2189. ) The present tariff rate is ` 16.34 per unit for West Bengal.

6. How to get subsidy for Solar PV Street Lighting System [SPV-SLS]?

Ans: The configuration of Solar PV SLS is as following:

 Model System Configuration Working Hours  Cost  WBREDA Contribution  User Contribution 
Solar PV Street Lighting System (RA) 4 meter Steel Tubular Pole, 74 Wp Module, 75 Ah Battery, one no 11 W CF Lamp Dusk to dawn  Rs. 24,700/-  Rs. 19,200/- Rs. 5,500/-

For Street Lighting System, WBREDA will maintain the system, initially for 05 years at free of cost. However, necessary up keeping measures like regular cleaning of module, cutting of tree branches(if required), periodic top up of battery with distilled water ( distilled water will be supplied by WBREDA) are to be ensured by users for sustenance of systems. Systems are to be installed at shadow free areas and security of systems will be the responsibility of users.

No commercial organization is entitled to avail capital subsidy for solar PV street lighting programme. Govt. organization/ Govt. aided organization/registered NGOs may apply to obtain capital subsidy in respect of Solar PV street lighting system. The application is to be written to the Director, WBREDA in their respective letter head of the applicant mentioning the quantity required, specific location of installation, utility of the system. The application must be vetted through the local Panchayet Samity/ Chairman of Municipal Authority. After due scrutiny of the application, WBREDA may issue subsidy sanction order and may intimate the applicant to place their contribution to WBREDA. After availability of the users’ contribution at WBREDA; WBREDA will do the work through its selected agencies (through tendering process) as per govt. norms. WBREDA may reject the application also. No subsidy will be granted for SPV-SLS which are not used for community purpose. It may be noted that Hon’ble Member of the Parliament/Hon’ble Member of the Legislative Assembly/Panchayet Samity/Zilla Parishad may provide the user contribution from their respective head of fund for installation of Solar PV SLS. For MP LADS / BEUP the norms are as follows:

a) The Hon’ble MP/ MLA may write to WBREDA mentioning the quantity of requirement, area of installation and utility of systems.

b) WBREDA will then send a reply mentioning availability of subsidy and detailed description, specifications of system.

c) The Hon’ble Member may then forward the proposal of WBREDA to the respective District Magistrate (D.M.) for sanctioning the project.

d) After due scrutiny, as per guidelines; the D.M. office, then may sanction the project and issue a sanction letter.

e) WBREDA will then collect the fund from the D.M. office.

f) WBREDA will then physically implement the project at site.

Normally it takes 45 to 60 days to install such system at a particular location in and around Kolkata after receipt of user contribution by WBREDA. It may take 65 to 80 days for balance districts of West Bengal – after availability of user contribution by WBREDA. At present per system user contribution is Rs. 5,500/-. The subsidy pattern may change time to time as per prevailing scheme of the Govt. of India and Govt. of West Bengal.

7. What is subsidy for Solar Water Heating Systems & what is the procedure to avail capital subsidy for Solar Water Heating System (SWHS)?

Ans: The subsidy pattern for Solar Water Heating System is as following:

Sl. No Type of Collector Capital subsidy amount per sq. meter of collector area [`/sq. m]
1. Evacuated Tube Collectors (ETCS) 3,000/-
2. Flat Plate Collectors (FPC) with liquid as working fluid 3,300/-
3. Flat Plate Collector with air as the working fluid 2,400/-

From a 1 sq. meter SWHS, 50 liters hot water is available per day. From this system, hot water is available almost for 365 days in a year with average temperature in the tune of 400 to 950 C. The life of the system is 20 years. The way to avail subsidy for the SWHS is same as Solar PV Street Lighting System. First, the user has to place application. Then WBREDA will sanction the application and will issue subsidy sanction letter for eligible application (or will communicate the reason for its not sanction). After receipt of sanction; the applicant will have to place their user contribution portion to WBREDA. After receipt of fund, WBREDA will install the system within 60 days from the date receipt of fund. The subsidy pattern may change time to time as per prevailing scheme of the Govt. of India and Govt. of West Bengal.

8. For what areas of Renewable Energy, capital subsidy is available?

Ans: In addition to above mentioned cases, Capital Subsidy is available for following Renewable Energy Programmes also:

a. Bio Energy (Biogas & Biomass)
b. Battery Operated Vehicle [two & four wheeler]
c. Remote Village Electrification (RVE) Programme

The subsidy pattern may change time to time as per prevailing scheme of the Govt. of India and Govt. of West Bengal.

9. RVE Programme:

WBREDA is implementing the Remote Village Electrification (RVE) work at different villages [Name: Gobindapur Abad, Krishnadaspur, Gobardhanpur, Satyadaspur, Sridharnagar, Upendranagar, Rakhalpur, Maushuni, Kushumtala, Baliara, Bagdanga, Dayapur, Satjalia, Sudhansupur, Lahiripur, Hamilton Abad, Sadhupur, Luxabagan, Mathurakhand, Paschim Radhanagar, Purba Sripatinagar, Paschim Sripatinagar, Rakshaskhali, Ghoramara etc.] in 24 Pgs (S) District where all resident families may avail Solar PV Home Lighting System [@ 90% subsidy, which is 90% of system cost], community Lighting and Solar PV Street Lighting System at the mentioned locations. The selection of site under RVE Programme is done by the Government, as per the Govt. guidelines available in this respect.

Recent Development
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    However, there are a large number of prospective consumers, who are awaiting for electric power.Under such circumstances,WBREDA has decided to set up a Wind-Diesel Hybrid power Plant of capacity 500 kW to cater the need of the Island people. [ more ]

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