As many as 50 spinning mills in the region are increasingly opting and planning to install solar rooftop panels in their units with the cost of solar photovoltaic units and accessories coming down significantly. The solar rooftop panels would have the capacity to generate 1-mw of power in each of their units.
These mills would be investing about Rs. 275 crore cumulatively for their solar rooftop projects. In fact, five mills have already installed solar rooftop panels in their units.
Prabhu Damodaran, secretary, Indian Texpreneurs' Federation (ITF) said that this is the right time for investments as prices (of solar panels and accessories) have dropped. While it used to cost Rs. 7-8 crore for installing solar rooftop panels with 1-mw capacity, this can be done now for Rs. 5.5 crore.
Interest costs for such projects are also lower as they come under priority sector lending. But the project has to be below Rs. 15 crore to avail benefits. Mills can easily install up to 2.5 mw at lower interest rates. Solar rooftop panels with 1-mw capacity can generate 5300-5500 units of power per day and mills can recover their investment cost in about five years, Prabhu said.
Spinning mills, unlike other industries, cover an extensive area and have a lot of space on the roof, he pointed out. Power accounts for about 20% of the cost of spinning mills. Most mills are planning to use the power generated from these panels for their captive use. Mills would take the power directly and would not feed into the grid.
Prabhu said that as they want to secure their energy needs for the long term and mills by installing solar rooftop panels would be able to get power without incurring any significant additional costs for at least 12 years since the average life-time of solar panels is about 20 years.
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