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Estate to sell power

Solar power may soon be a source of income for the residents of Orbit City in Jadavpur.

The estate, which uses solar street lights, had approached West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency for sops in exchange of the excess solar power it can generate. The agency took up the case with the state electricity regulatory commission, which has in principle agreed to pay estate residents for the power they provide to the grid.

“Discussions are on. The tariff is being worked out,”said agency director S.P. Gon Chowdhury. The commission had earlier not allowed housing estates to sell excess solar power.

“We want to conserve nature by using solar power. However, we need some time to get used to this alternative form of energy,” said Bikram Dasgupta, a flat-owner at Orbit City.

The residents of the estate, which has 136 flats, plan to use solar energy to light not only the streets within the estate but also their homes. Other housing estates and malls, including two large ones on the eastern fringes, have approached the agency for help to go solar, according to Gon Chowdhury.

The agency has been encouraging the use of solar power by multi-storeyed buildings and malls. “Highrises and shopping plazas have large roofs that are ideal for solar power generation. The environment department too wants estates and malls to use solar lights,” said Gon Chowdhury.

Anupam Baral whose company set up the solar street lights at Orbit said: “Residents of several estates are showing interest in solar power equipment.”

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