GAIL starts India’s second-largest rooftop solar plant

The country's largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company has commissioned the rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at its Petrochemical Complex at Pata in the state of Uttar Pradesh

December 30, 2017

The 5.76 MWp solar plant is spread over the roofs of warehouses covering a total roof area of 65,000 square meters

The plant has an expected load factor - ratio of actual output compared with maximum capacity - of around 15 per cent

Annually over 7.9 million KWh of power is targeted to be generated for use of India’s largest gas-based petrochemicals plant

The solar initiative of GAIL is expected to reduce annual carbon emissions by 6,300 tonnes, as part of India’s COP21 goal

GAIL (India) Ltd has commissioned India’s second-largest rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at its Petrochemical Complex at Pata in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The 5.76 MWp solar plant is spread over the roofs of warehouses covering a total roof area of 65,000 square meters. With an expected plant load factor – ratio of a solar plant’s actual output compared with its maximum capacity – of around 15 per cent, annually over 7.9 million KWh of power is targeted to be generated for captive use of the country’s largest gas-based petrochemicals plant.

Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd in December 2015 had commissioned the country’s largest rooftop solar PV plant with capacity of 12 MWp in Amritsar. The new project comes weeks before the third edition of the India Rooftop Solar Congress 2018, which will be held in New Delhi over January 18-19. The conference brings together project developers, rooftop owners, financial institution, technology leaders, industry advisories, government representatives, policy makers and entrepreneurs to discuss the key challenges and opportunities in rooftop segment.

Captive solar PV initiative of GAIL is expected to reduce annual carbon emissions by 6,300 tonnes, helping India achieve climate goals agreed under the international COP21 resolution. GAIL’s solar rooftop project is also a step under the Government’s “Make in India” initiative with Indian vendors entrusted for manufacturing, supply and execution. Policies supporting indigenous production of a variety of equipment as well as those promoting non-polluting sources of power generation has created one of the world’s biggest solar markets in India.

With per capita electricity consumption in India lower than one third of the world’s average, there’s a substantial unmet market for energy, according to the World Bank. Herein, solar energy, especially in the rooftop form backed by favourable climatic conditions, provides easy solution to India’s growing power need. Rooftop solar is also touted to constitute a portion of the country’s target to generate 175 MW of renewable energy by 2022. The rooftop industry has seen growing entries, tie-ups of solar developers and investors from India and abroad alike.