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India, Odisha Rooftop Solar

Demonstrating the power of rooftop solar to deliver affordable urban electricity

 

Context

The State of Odisha on India’s east coast has seen strong economic growth, particularly in its urban areas. The Government of Odisha is committed to meeting growing energy demand whilst supporting India’s national smart cities mission to promote and ensure sustainable urban development.  High levels of solar irradiation make Odisha ideally suited to the development of solar power. Rooftop solar offers particular benefits for urban settlements as generation can be achieved close to centres of demand, reducing transmission and distribution losses which are a feature of Odisha’s power network. The Government has committed to generate 100GW of solar power by 2022, of which around 40GW will be generated via rooftop solar initiatives. To achieve its ambitious targets, the government is committed to creating an enabling environment for private investment in the state’s energy sector.

Project

DevCo provided US$270,000 to support the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as it advised the Government of Odisha on the development of a public private partnership (PPP) structure for a pilot rooftop solar project in the state capital, Bhubaneswar, and its second-largest city, Cuttack. 

Following a competitive tendering process, private sector developer Azure Power Mercury Private Ltd was appointed to build, own and operate a minimum of 4MWp of clean power using 200 solar panels on government and public buildings. When it is fully commissioned, the pilot will be the state’s first grid-connected megawatt-scale rooftop solar project.

Impact

The project will deliver new and improved access to power for 8,000 people in Odisha. With power delivered on a net metering basis, building owners - including universities, government bodies and public sector services - will have first use of the power, delivering any surplus to the national grid. The ground-breaking pilot will demonstrate the viability of retrofitting existing buildings with rooftop solar technology. Azure’s competitive tariff will keep electricity affordable for consumers without the need for state subsidies. With a minimum capacity of 4MWp, the project’s clean solar power will cut India’s CO² equivalent emissions by 5,000 metric tonnes per annum.

As a result of DevCo’s support, the Government of Odisha has already expressed interest in a 10 city roll-out of the model. By showcasing the efficacy of investing in Odisha’s renewable energy potential, the project is expected to attract future private investment to the state’s energy sector.