Surat: Powerloom units turning to Solar Power

Surat: Going green is becoming new mantra for powerloom units in Surat, who are operating their entire machines through solar power. 12 power loom units in Surat are currently using solar power to produce fabric. Though no subsidy is given by state government for installing solar panels, unit owners say long-term benefits have prompted them to go for solar power.

Surat has 5 lakh plus powerlooms and each machine produces 1500 meters of cloth daily. The annual polyester yarn consumption by the powerloom units in Surat is pegged at 40,610 lakh kg and the annual fabric production is pegged at 91,871 lakh metres. Interestingly, total fabric production in Gujarat is 97,206 lakh metres.

With costs of production going up, electricity bills is one of the main reasons for high production cost, powerloom units in Surat are turning for renewable source of energy. Though investment is costly, pay-back period of 6-7 years and nominal maintenance is the reason for switching to solar power.

“Cost of installing 1 KW capacity solar power plant is Rs70000-75000 and everything depends on space available for installing solar panels. One powerloom machine needs 2 hp power to operate. Solar power plant of 10KW can operate 12 such machines,” said Bharat Bhut, director of Surat based Goldi Green Technologies.

Rather than transferring power to grid of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL), it is directly used by machines, he added.

Besides operating powerlooms on solar power, many unit owners also use it for operating texturising machines and other small machines.

“Solar power plant of 10 KWH generates 50 units in a day and on an average, plant generates 14000-15000 units per year. Power generation is low during monsoon season, but looking at the savings on electricity bills, it is beneficial in the long run,” said Anand Agrawal, who operates 166 powerloom machines on solar power.

Agrawal has installed 180 KW capacity solar power plant at his unit in Pandesara GIDC and also uses additional power for operating ancillary machines.

Jayesh Jariwala, who has installed 100 KW solar power plant at his unit in Pipodara said: “Life of solar power plant is minimum 25 years and 10 KW power plant can save Rs120000 per year. Generally pay-back of plant comes in 6-7 years, but if depreciation benefit is considered from very first year, payback period also gets reduced.”

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