According to the Planning Commission, India will need to generate at least 700,000 MW of additional power by 2030 to meet growing electricity demands. India will certainly be looking towards alternative energy sources to generate a substantial portion of this energy. Although solar energy production in India accounted for a mere 1.7% of the world total in 2007 (80 megawatt peak (MWp) power compared to a world total of 4,700 MWp), several great green strides have been taken by the country to harness the immense potential of solar energy. The latest example of this future forward thinking is Rabi Rashmi Abasan, India’s first completely green housing project.

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Built in Kolkata, Rabi Rashmi Abasan is India’s first completely solar-powered housing complex. The complex has been built on a plot of 1.76 acres at Action Area I in New Town. The 58 kilowatt project consists of 26 photovoltaic systems comprising 464 units of Conergy C125W solar modules. The solar modules were customized to fit on the building roofs. Each home will generate 2kW of power. The solar power generated will be used to fulfill electricity needs of the homes, and the surplus power will be sent to the public grid. This is also India’s first building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) project. The building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system would save 0.5 kgs of carbon emissions for every kw hour of solar power produced.

The houses will have both passive solar architecture and active solar energy features. The passive solar features will make houses cool during summer, ensure natural light, and better air circulation inside the house. The active solar energy elements include the solar water heating system. The housing complex will also have other sustainable features like garbage management system, battery operated pick-up vans for residents, solar street lights, and a swimming pool with solar water heating system.

The complex has been conceived, designed, engineered and built by West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA) and Bengal DCL. The solar photovoltaic has been installed by SunTechnics India, a brand of the Conergy Group.