Bengaluru’s Cricket Stadium Saves ₹7.2 Million Annually with Rooftop Solar

IPL's fan-favorite team's home ground generates ~40,000 units of solar power monthly


Indian cricket’s prestigious event of the year, the Indian Premier League (IPL), is underway, and the league’s fan-favorite team, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru‘s home stadium, is quietly championing renewable energy.

The M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru boasts a 400 kWp rooftop solar capacity on top of its eastern side stands.

The photovoltaic modules installed on the roof by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in 2015 generate approximately 40,000 units every month, powering the daily operations at the stadium.

On average, the stadium utilizes ~100,000 units a month, of which 60,000 units are supplied by Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) through the grid.

Since the stadium has not installed an energy storage facility, the power generated from the rooftop solar system is transmitted to the grid on a net metering basis.

The idea to incorporate solar energy into the stadium’s infrastructure was not only driven by environmental considerations but also to reduce operational costs.

The rooftop solar installation helps save KSCA approximately ₹500,000 (~$5,998) to ₹600,000 (~$7,198) monthly, leading up to a savings of ~₹6 million (~$71,975) to ₹7.2 million (~$86,370) annually.

While the KSCA continues to depend on diesel generators to power the floodlights during evening/night matches, they hope that an energy storage facility could help power them in the future.

According to the KSCA official Mercom spoke to, a test match that lasts for five days could typically lead to a consumption of 20,000 units, while for T20 and ODI matches, the consumption is approximately 3 to 4 MW.

The floodlights utilize around 160,000 units of energy for ~30 match days during the year at the stadium.

The system installed in 2015 cost ~₹38 million (~$455,833) and has paid back for itself in just four to five years.

“The only challenge we faced while installing the system was that we had to compromise on the angle of the module installation due to the high altitude of Bengaluru and the wind velocity. The generation currently is 20-30% less than it could have been with a 10-degree slope,” the official said. The official applauded the support from the Karnataka government in installing one of its pilot and a large-scale rooftop solar project atop the stadium.

The KSCA is currently in talks with BESCOM to install another 600 kWp rooftop solar capacity on its western side. The association also plans to install EV charging stations at the stadium powered by these rooftop solar installations.

While solar leads the sustainability initiative list by the M Chinnaswamy stadium, the KSCA has also installed a biogas plant, which helps recycle the biowaste from the canteen. Considering the biowaste is not much during most of the year, the energy generated by the biogas plant is minimal. The gas generated from the plant also has significantly less calorific value.

The stadium also employs a sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 200 kiloliters per day, which draws wastewater from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. It is then treated using the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor process.

Among other sustainability initiatives, the KSCA has deployed Sub-Air technology on the cricket ground, which helps drain the water at a much faster rate during rains, store it in large tanks, and then reuse it to water the turf. The stadium has also installed rain harvesting pits and a sand-based system that recharges groundwater in stored tanks.

The KSCA credits the technological advancements to its former Honorary Secretary, Brijesh Patel, who is also a former test cricketer and IPL chairman. “It was his faith that technology could be the cornerstone of KSCA in the future in building a smart cricket stadium that has led to the deployment of all the sustainability measures at M. Chinnaswamy stadium, “the official said.

The Karnataka government recently announced its 2024 budget encompassing a slew of incentives for renewable energy installations in the state.

Last year, Mercom reported on how an apartment complex in Bengaluru continues to expand its rooftop solar capacity to help cut down its power costs.