Mahesana’s Free Solar Power: Generates Electricity 24/7, 29 Lakh in Account

In today’s era, solar energy has captured people’s attention. The enthusiasm for this topic has not only increased in people’s minds but has also led them to experience more benefits by installing solar plants in their homes, societies, offices, or agricultural fields. Questions arise about the necessity of voltage generation and what happens if electrical power is not produced. Seeking answers to such questions, on October 9, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Modhera as India’s first solar village. What is the current situation of this village after more than a year?

Impact of Solar Projects in and around Modhera

Read about the advantages experienced by people in Modhera and two neighboring villages due to the country’s first solar village. After the installation of solar panels, claims of zero electricity bills during the night and between months when there is less sunlight — how true are these statements?

Solar Rooftop Systems: A Change in the Energy Landscape

Three years ago, the initiation of solar rooftop systems began in the Mahesana district’s Bahucharaji Taluka, covering Samlanpura and Sujanpura villages. Initially, it was not a government project, but some individuals took the initiative to install solar panels on their roofs. However, the scenario changed significantly over time. This shift in the situation unfolds an interesting story behind it.

Solar Revolution Spreading in Modhera and Nearby Villages

Within a 100-kilometer radius from Ahmedabad, the villages of Modhera, Samlanpura, and Sujanpura started the installation of solar rooftop systems three years ago. The rooftops of houses in these villages now host 1409 solar rooftop systems, contributing to the production of 100 kilovolts in Modhera and 216 kilovolts in the other two villages in the second phase.

Gujarat Power Corporation’s Contribution to Solar Development

The Gujarat Power Corporation Limited invested approximately 69 crores to establish the Modhera Surya Mandir and develop solar energy in the area. This project includes a total of 1409 solar rooftop systems, benefiting Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited, Modhera Surya Mandir, Modhera, and the surrounding two villages.

Transformative Solar Farm Project in Sujanpura

Sujanpura village witnessed the establishment of a large solar farm spanning 28 acres on August 26, 2021. This project, implemented at a cost of 69 crores by the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited, aims to generate solar energy for Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited, Modhera Surya Mandir, and the villages of Modhera and Sujanpura.

Impact on Local Governance and Recognition

The initiative gained recognition when officials from Delhi visited and acknowledged the development in Sujanpura village. Rameshsinh Thakor, the former female Sarpanch and social activist of Sujanpura, recalls the visit as a mark of ‘development.’ This event also led to interactions with local authorities, where the Delhi government’s dream project was realized. Thakor emphasizes the importance of searching for suitable locations for solar plant installation in other villages as well.

Rameshsinh’s Journey to Solar Empowerment in Sujanpura and Modhera Villages

Rameshsinh shares that officials had visited his location to distribute numbers, and we accompanied them to observe the area. He explored alternative locations in other villages as well. Later, we learned of his choice for a solar plant in Sujanpura. After some time, the company’s team arrived, and the plant’s work commenced.

Sujanpura Benefits from Proximity to Modhera

Sujanpura, located about three kilometers from Modhera, had requested that if our land was acquired, they should not be deprived of solar panel benefits. Accordingly, 28 acres were allotted in Sujanpura, while Modhera, Sujanpura, and Samlanpura also saw solar panel installations.

Building Trust in Sujanpura: How Did People React to the Solar Project?

Rameshsinh Thakor mentions that initially, people were skeptical, questioning whether the solar panels would genuinely illuminate their entire village. However, as solar panels were installed in a few homes, and the overall project progressed, trust began to build.

Solar Project Impact in Sujanpura: Overcoming Challenges

Rameshsinh shares that, after the completion of the project, 105 houses in Sujanpura had solar panels installed without any cost. The process of fitting solar panels in houses without prior solar installations was smooth. Those who hadn’t considered solar panels initially began expressing interest.

Current Status of Solar Project in Modhera

In Modhera, there are approximately 1300 to 1400 houses. The solar project commenced in 2021, with 15 to 20 people initially applying for solar panels. After successful installations, around 60-70% of houses now have solar panels.

Operational Aspects of Solar Project in Modhera

Every house in Modhera has a one-kilowatt solar roof system, generating four to five units of electricity daily. This power is used by the villagers during the day, with excess units sent to the grid. The project is managed by Mahindra Company, overseeing maintenance and operations.

Providing Electricity to Villages – Night and Day

The plant in Sujanpura generates six megawatts of electricity, with five megawatts being fed into the grid. One megawatt is transferred to the Modhera P.N.V. feeder. The project has six batteries, each with a capacity of 15 megawatts, charged up to 80% daily. The excess electricity is then distributed to the villagers, meeting their needs during the night.

Solar Power Calculation Example

Now, understand the mathematics of the benefits of a solar project with an example.

In every home, smart meters have been installed, and billing occurs every two months. During these two months, one customer has consumed 300 units using solar panels installed in their home. With each panel generating 4 units daily, they produce a total of 240 units in 60 days. Hence, they need to pay for only 60 units (300 – 240) in their bill, which amounts to 6 rupees per unit, including various charges.

In contrast, homes where people stay outdoors or use less electricity, the excess units get accumulated, and these customers are paid 2.25 rupees for each unit at the end of the financial year. This approach is implemented in three villages, benefiting maximum customers.

Solar Power Impact on Electricity Bills

In houses with solar panels, there has been a significant reduction in electricity bills. Earlier, the bills ranged from 600 to 800 rupees, but now, with solar panels, the generated income is helping in managing various expenses effectively.

Even temples in Modhera have adopted solar power-operated plants. Bharatbhai Suthar mentioned that larger houses in Modhera have installed 1-kilowatt solar panels. This has considerably reduced the electricity bills, making a positive impact on the overall financial situation.

Solar Project and its Expansion in Three Villages

The solar project, undertaken by M/s Mahindra Susten Private Limited, Mumbai, involves the installation of a total of 21,000 solar panels. These panels produce 35,000 units of electricity daily, with plans to expand to 40,000 units in the near future.

From 2020-21 to November 2023, the income generated from electricity production through solar panels is expected to exceed 29 lakhs, significantly benefiting the three villages.

Solar Panels in Schools

In the Modhera school, Acharya Mahendrakumar Nayee mentioned that solar panels have been installed for the past five years. The school, with 510 students and 22 classrooms, has lights, fans, projectors, and a digital board in each classroom, enhancing the learning environment.

In the academic year 2020-21, 14-kilowatt solar panels were installed, eliminating the need to pay electricity bills ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 rupees monthly. The school now generates revenue by selling excess electricity, accumulating 10,000 to 15,000 rupees in the bank account annually.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.