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Express News Service

JAIPUR:  While many areas of Rajasthan are reeling under a power crisis caused by the coal shortage, industrialists in Bhiwadi town of Alwar district have shown the way ahead. Around 150 of them on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway have put up their own solar power system. The power generation – around 5 lakh units every day – is just enough to meet their needs. 

The power cost too is much less than the regular supply, which means big savings. Ratan Engineering MD Ram Prakash Garg had set up a 70-kilowatt solar plant in 2018 to overcome the twin-problem of expensive electricity and power cuts. With his confidence growing, he set up a 300 KW plant in 2020 and a 400 KW plant this year.

Today, his industrial unit has a capacity of 770 KW of power, where 10,000 units are produced daily. “We paid a monthly power bill of Rs 30 lakh. Today, we save around Rs 5 lakh every month,” says Garg.

The biggest producer of solar energy in Bhiwadi is Honda Motorcycles. It produces 1,41,600 units of electricity daily from its six solar plants. The other major producers are APM Industries, which has 11 solar plants producing 29,260 units daily, Nahar Industries (30,560 units daily) and Saint Gobain with 29,200 units.

Experts say each solar power plant can produce about four units per KW and can run for 10 hours in summers and about 4-6 hours in the winter season at full capacity. Every unit of electricity uses about 400 grams of coal and in that sense, the solar plants in Bhiwadi are saving about 200 tonnes of coal and are far less polluting.

The Petro Pol Sariya unit has set up a 500 KW solar plant. Its owner Atul Singhla says he doesn’t have enough space in the factory to set up a bigger unit that could help him save Rs 35 lakh still being spent to buy electricity.

The trend of setting up power plants in Bhiwadi has caught up in the last five years, says Anoop Arora of Green Root Renewable. The government offers a concession of 90 per cent on the cost of power produced by solar plants.

However, industrialists rarely get the benefit, though for farmers, it’s a huge relief. Setting up solar plants is profitable as the cost incurred in setting them up is recovered by reduction in power bills.  “Earlier only big companies would set up solar plants. Now smaller units too are coming forward. In the past three years, we have set up solar plants in 30-40 industrial units,” says Anoop Arora.

Around 3,500 industrial units in Bhiwadi consume the highest electricity in Rajasthan compared to other industrial towns.

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