In Bengaluru, a 100 kW Solar System Can Save C&I Entities ₹1 Million Annually

Mercom will host the next C&I Clean Energy Meet in Mumbai on May 15


Mercom India successfully concluded the C&I Clean Energy Meet 2023 in Bengaluru, where stakeholders in the solar sector and commercial and industrial entities converged to enthusiastically discuss the benefits of renewable energy and practical solutions to reduce power costs.

The C&I segment has been driving the demand for renewables, particularly rooftop solar and open-access installations, considered the most viable options. Rooftop solar is gaining popularity among C&I consumers due to its easy availability and power cost savings, with no transmission or distribution losses.

The meet featured a session titled “Clean Power Purchase – Options & Technologies Maximizing ROI” The panelists were B V Palanetra, General Manager DSM at Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM); Ramesh Shivanna, Chairman Energy Committee at Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI); I R Venkatraman, Sr. VP- Business Development & Regulatory at Ayana Renewable Power; Yogish HN General Manager BD at Enerparc; and Shantanu Sirsath, Technical Head India at Growatt.

Priya Sanjay, Managing Director, Mercom India, moderated the session.

Yogish said that the C&I entities must switch to solar to procure green energy, offset carbon emissions, and save on electricity bills. “With the current BESCOM tariff of around ₹8 (~$0.097)/kWh, a 100 kW system would save around ₹1.1 (~$13,321)-1.2 million (~$14,532) annually.”

Yogish also said the accelerated depreciation benefit is another savings that most C&I customers can utilize. That is around 40% in the first year itself.

When asked about the savings compared to grid tariffs for industries opting for open access, Venkatraman estimated a ₹2 (~$0.024)/kWh differential in Karnataka. “If the project is larger, the cost will be less, and combining wind and solar project cost increase, but the landed cost will still be less,” he stated.

Venkatraman underlined the indirect benefits of green power and how it can help businesses meet market demands and regulatory requirements. For instance, in some European countries, regulations require products to have a green component, and businesses that sell green products command a premium price. Companies can meet these regulatory requirements and boost their profits by investing in green power.

According to Shivanna, one of the main barriers to solar adoption is the high upfront cost of rooftop solar systems, which many MSMEs cannot afford or prioritize over their core business activities. Another barrier is the low awareness and understanding of the different business models and financing options available for rooftop solar projects. Some MSMEs perceive rooftop solar as risky due to performance uncertainties or policy changes.

Further, rooftop installations must be paired with inverters which can be instrumental in determining the efficiency of the system. Sirsath explained that inverters for the C&I segment start from 20 kW and can go up to a maximum of 1 MW or more, achieving an efficiency of around 99%. This can lead to less conversion loss and maximum power output from the system.

Apart from upfront cost and lack of awareness, the apathetic role of power distribution companies has been cited as a hindrance to rooftop solar attention. But Palanetra contended that even though BESCOM has no dedicated programs to promote rooftop installations, there are no impediments to project approvals as the state has already reached its renewable purchase obligation targets and has encouraged the installation of rooftop solar projects.

He, however, noted that it was important to ensure the DC capacity did not exceed the sanctioned load. If the sanctioned load is, for example, 100 kW, then the DC capacity should be less than or equal to 100 kW. And if the DC capacity is 100 kW, the customer should choose an inverter with a capacity of 75 kW or less. This ensures that the inverter capacity does not exceed the electricity authority’s maximum limit.

Yogish addressed a common concern of some customers about the hesitation to invest in solar energy due to possible future price drops or technological advancements. He noted that businesses and industries should adopt renewable energy sources sooner rather than later, as the savings from these investments begin immediately, and waiting for hypothetical changes in technology or prices could result in missed opportunities for savings.

Venkatraman also emphasized the importance of early decision-making in open access projects. “Businesses can confidently plan their investments and product strategies by locking in a fixed tariff for 25 years. As inflation and costs increase over time, the early adoption of green power can also provide long-term cost savings,” he said.

The C&I Clean Energy Meet brought together C&I entities looking to expand their renewable capacities or add new ones, along with solar industry specialists. Industry experts discussed rooftop solar’s benefits, policies, and processes. In addition, they shared their views on costs, choice of developers, financing options, and operation and maintenance of the projects, helping consumers make informed decisions.

After Bengaluru, Mercom will host the next C&I Clean Energy Meet in Mumbai on May 15.

Interested entities can register for upcoming events by sending an email to

Find out more details about the events here.