In a boost to Kerala State Electricity Board Limited's (KSEBL) initiative to harness solar power, the board connected the solar plant of a consumer to its grid in Thoppumpady. This is for the first time in the district that KSEBL is drawing solar power for its grid. The grid has been connected to the solar panels installed at the factory of Baby Marine Group, owned by K C Ninan. The solar plant, set up on 1,500sqft on the terrace of the cold storage, generates about 24kW.
The power supply will come in handy when there's power disruption. This would also bring down electricity charges of consumers.
KSEBL Mattanchery executive engineer Beena Coilo said, "This is the third such consumer connected to the grid as part of the solar initiative of the board. The solar plant has a capacity to produce 24kW. As the consumer has cold storage, he shells out huge amount for paying electricity bills. As for KSEBL, it does not have to provide power for the unit while accessing excess power generated by the solar plant. The plant can generate 100 units of power per day for the grid. Already the board buys power from other states paying Rs 11 per unit and sells at a lower rate in the state. If more people come forward with the solar power initiative, it will be great boon for consumers as well as the board."
Alex K Ninan, managing partner, Baby Marine Group, said, "As there is a cold storage facility, we pay electricity charge at the commercial rate of Rs 9.50 per unit. The solar power generated currently is not enough to meet our requirements. We will increase it further if there is any significant decrease in the electricity bill. We have spent Rs 24 lakh for installing the solar plant."
If power generation from the solar plant is not enough to meet the requirements, the consumer will use power from KSEBL. The board will only charge the consumer for power drawn from the grid.
There are grid connected and off-grid connected solar plants. The state government had issued certain guidelines for setting up grid connected solar plants. In 2014, the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission had formulated rules for giving permission to grid connected solar plants.
Ernakulam deputy chief engineer V Kesavadas said, "As the project was launched only recently, we have received only one or two applications for grid connected solar plants. We expect more to come forward in the coming days."