Gas utility GAIL connects country’s second-largest rooftop solar plant

Rooftop

The second-largest rooftop solar PV installation in India was commissioned last week by GAIL, the country’s biggest gas utility.

The 5.76 MW solar array is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh and sits atop GAIL’s Pata petrochemicals plant. The largest rooftop PV installation in the country remains a 12 MW installation in Amritsar, built by Tata Power.

GAIL’s entrance into the solar industry is noteworthy, given the utility’s dominance in India’s soaring gas sector. According to the company, the 65,000 square meter installation will generate more than 150 Lakh kWh of electricity a year, half of which has been designated for captive use by the Pata plant – which is India’s largest gas-based petrochemicals plant.

According to GAIL CMD Shri. B. C. Tripathi, the utility is “thrilled to integrate captive solar PV” into its largely gas-rooted portfolio, adding that the array is a first step on its journey to lower GAIL’s carbon footprint.

Consulting on the design and installation of the project – which sits across a number of warehouse rooftops at the plant – was the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), with Thermax Ltd the EPC and system operator for the next five years.

India is hoping to embark on a distributed generation (DG) solar boom over the next few years at it attempts to plug the gap between current rooftop solar capacity – which stands at just under 2 GW – and its 2022 target of 20 GW.