At Rs 3.13 a unit, Delhi's Lady Irwin College will generate 80% own power

The solar power plant, biggest among Delhi University colleges, will generate 305,000 units of power each year
Delhi's iconic Lady Irwin College has installed a 218kWp (kilowatt peak) solar power plant at its campus on Sikandra Road in the heart of the city. The solar power plant will take care of up to 80 per cent of the electricity requirement of the college that was set up in 1932.

Installed by Oakridge, the plant would generate power at Rs 3.13 a unit and save up to Rs 3.81 crore in bills over the life of the project.

The project has been financed, developed and commissioned by Oakridge Energy on a turnkey basis under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for sale of power at Rs 3.13 per unit, the lowest tariff paid by an institutional customer for a solar rooftop plant in the city. Oakridge Energy is a Delhi-based solar rooftop developer with a presence across six states and over 1,000 completed solar installations.

Bluebird Solar and HFM Solar were the other two companies that matched the price of Rs. 3.13/ kWh for other buildings. The Delhi government’s Indraprastha Gas Corporation Ltd is the nodal agency for conducting reverse auction process for 21.5 MW under which the plant will be put up.

The Union government is giving 25 per cent capital subsidy which is disbursed after project sanction and verification by the state government. Its Solar Energy Corporation of India tendered another 97.5 MW of power capacity in Delhi which has been awarded at Rs. 3.33 / kWh. Oakridge is building some capacity in that scheme, too. The other bidders in this SECI scheme are Sunsource Energy, Hero Rooftop Energy and Ampsolar India.

These plants are based on the net metering concept where surplus solar power generated in the day gets adjusted against the power drawn by the institution from the distribution utility during sun down hours. For any surplus units fed into the grid, the credit is obtained in electricity bill. The college draws about 35,000 units every month from the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NMDC) incurring an expense of about Rs 6 lakh. It comes to a rate of about Rs 9-10 a unit. During lockdown, bills are down to about Rs 1.5 lakh. “However, classes are opening soon in a staggered form and the electricity consumption is likely to increase again,” said a person close to the development.

Sampath, CEO, Oakridge Energy, said, "Our company has already contributed to the reduction of over 630,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of our projects. We are committed to developing solar rooftop plants where our customers can utilize their rooftop area to reduce their carbon footprint and take advantage of clean and green solar energy”.

Anupa Siddhu, director, Lady Irwin College, said the college took pride in the unique academic blend of courses along with being one of the greenest campuses in the Delhi University. "Taking into consideration the effect of global warming, we felt it was time to shift our dependency from fossil fuel to renewable resources of energy. The addition of this solar plant will not only fulfill our electricity needs but also help us reduce our electricity cost."

The solar power plant, biggest among Delhi University colleges, will generate 305,000 units of power each year resulting in a reduction in CO2 emission of 274 tonnes per year which is equivalent to the planting of 13,500 trees.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated the plant on Wednesday. ”With the help of subsidies, companies, like Oakridge, will install solar plants on your rooftop and enable you to sell excess power to power supply companies. Delhi can become the solar capital of India and we need to spread awareness to make this into a mass movement," Kejriwal said at the event.

Large solar plants in Delhi University 
-Lady Irwin College 218 kW
- Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College - 150 kW
- Satyavati College - 100 kW
- Kalindi College - 60 kW
- Zakir Hussain College- 55 kW
- Aurobindo College - 50 kW  

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