The harnessing of solar energy has made Diu the country’s first energy surplus Union territory and a model for an effective way for people to harness this renewable energy source.
In just three years, Diu has made rapid progress in solar power generation. The Union territory has an area of just 42 square kilometres. Despite scarcity of land, solar power plants have been installed over more than 50 acres.
Diu generates a total of 13 megawatts of electricity from solar power generating facilities daily. Around 3 MW is generated by rooftop solar plants and 10 MW by its other solar power plants.
Three years ago, the people of Diu consumed electricity supplied from the power grid owned by the Gujarat government, resulting in huge line losses. Once the local power company started generating electricity from solar energy, the electricity loss was significantly reduced.
Daman and Diu electricity department executive engineer Milind Ingle told TOI, “The population of Diu is only 56,000. For water and electricity, the Union territory was solely dependent on the Gujarat government. To overcome this limitation, the administration of the Union territory decided to set up solar power plants in Diu.”
Ingle said, “Diu’s peak-time demand for electricity goes up to 7 MW and we generate about 10.5 MW of electricity from solar energy daily. This is way more than the consumption demand requirement.”
He said solar power has come as a big relief for local residents as their monthly bill charges have fallen by around 12 per cent. Previously, the 0-50 units charge was Re 1.20 per unit and 50-100 units was Re 1.50 per unit. But once the solar power plants began operating, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for Goa and the Union territories removed the 0-50 units slab. They now have revised the 1-100 units charge to Re 1.01 per unit.