The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) has recently adopted a government order that makes it mandatory for property owners to install rooftop solar photovoltaic power plants in offices, housing and commercial complexes that are 5,000 square metres (sqm) and more in area.
The proposal was part of a special agenda during a board meeting held on Tuesday. It was cleared and adopted as an addition to the existing building by-laws.
In October 2015, the Uttar Pradesh government had made it mandatory for certain categories of buildings to use 25% of the plinth area (built-up covered area of a floor) to set up rooftop photovoltaic power plants. It had also announced an amendment in building by-laws and directed various agencies to get the proposal for the same cleared by their respective boards.
“The proposal was cleared and made a new part of building by-laws. It now makes it mandatory for such (5,000 sqm or larger) residential, commercial and institutional buildings to install rooftop solar plants to meet their energy requirements,” said Ishtiyak Ahmed, chief architect and town planner, GDA.
The mandatory rooftop area for setting up a solar plant will be applicable to all government, semi-government and aided institutions. Further, all housing, offices, and commercial complexes measuring 5,000 sqm or above are also supposed to follow the mandatory provisions.
“The solar plant will be based on net energy metering\net energy billing guidelines. Under the method, consumers can generate electricity with the help of a solar plant during the day and the surplus electricity, even when it is generated on off days, can be transferred to the electricity grid. People have started applying for this scheme to their respective power distribution companies,” said Anil Kumar Pandey, senior project officer from the Uttar Pradesh new and renewable energy development agency (Upneda).
According to officials, the generation of solar energy is increasing. At present, Gautam Budh Nagar district has installed rooftops solar plants together generating an estimated 2 to 2.5 megawatts (mw) of electricity. Neighbouring Ghaziabad and Hapur districts have such plants generating an estimated 1.5 mw.
“The installed capacities could be more as people get the installations done from private companies too. We are conducting a survey and assessing solar loads in all districts in the region,” Pandey said.