Looking for safer development models in renewable energy, spinning mills in the textile belt of Coimbatore and Tirupur have begun hunting for investors to fund small solar farms on the rooftops of their factories.
Investor interest in funding small, rooftop units in the south have also picked up with other avenues of investment such as real estate still lumbering in a slow recovery phase and attractive returns from a round-the-year textile industry. The other attraction for rooftop farms is that power can be consumed directly, with minimal wheeling or transmission charges for the energy as opposed to drawing power from distant solar farms or state-provided grid power. Coimbatore-based denims manufacturer KG fabriks was one of the earliest to go for a rooftop solar plant after the Alpine Group. Srihari Balakrishnan, who heads KG, said: “Our rooftop solar unit takes care of about 20% of our power needs, while the rest is met through wind power and thermal power. Till now, the rooftop plant has generated close to 16 lakh units.”