While technically not a city, Diu has become the first union territory in India to be fully powered by solar power.
Daman & Diu are geographically separated, but administratively form a single union territory. It is governed directly by India’s federal government and does not have a state government like other states and a few other union territories in India have. Diu is located at the southern-most point of Indian state of Gujarat.
According to media reports, Diu has become the first union territory in India to be fully powered by solar power. The power department of Diu has set up a total solar power capacity of 13 megawatts — 10 megawatts in ground-based systems and 3 megawatts in rooftop systems.
Diu has a land area of just 42 square kilometers. In comparison, Manhattan island has an area of 59 square kilometers. However, Diu’s peak power demand is just 7 megawatts, which is negligible compared to the energy-hungry Manhattan. Before the solar power systems were installed, Diu would procure all of its power from neighboring Gujarat.
The solar power installed capacity is nearly twice the peak power demand in Diu. According to a an executive engineer of the power department, the total daily solar power generation is around 10.5 megawatts, nearly 50% more than the peak power demand.
While the media reports do not mention how the territory is powered during night and cloudy days, mechanisms exist within Indian power regulations to address this issue. Diu may export any surplus solar power generated during the day to Gujarat and acquire what it needs during the night or period of shortfall in solar power generation. This barter is allowed and commonly practiced in the Indian power system. A similar approach is believed to have been implemented at the Kochi International Airport, the world’s first fully solar-powered airport.