Govt Okays Dou­bling of So­lar Park Scheme Ca­pac­ity

De­ci­sion taken by CCEA to raise ca­pac­ity to 40k MW will re­quire set­ting up of at least 50 so­lar parks with a ca­pac­ity of at least 500 MW each

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Our Bureau

New Delhi: The gov­ern­ment has ap­proved dou­bling of the ca­pac­ity of the scheme for devel­op­ment of so­lar parks and ul­tra mega so­lar power projects to 40,000 MW, union min­is­ter Piyush Goyal said on Wed­nes­day.

The de­ci­sion taken by the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Eco­nomic Af­fairs (CCEA) will re­quire set­ting up of at least 50 so­lar parks with a ca­pac­ity of at least 500 MW each in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try. Smaller parks in Hi­malayan and other hilly states, where con­tigu­ous land may be dif­fi­cult to ac­quire in view of the dif­fi­cult ter­rain, will also be con­sid­ered un­der the scheme, said Goyal, the min­is­ter for power, coal, re­new­able en­ergy and mines.

The ca­pac­ity of the so­lar park scheme has been dou­bled from 20,000 MW af­ter con­sid­er­ing the de­mand for ad­di­tional so­lar parks from the states. The so­lar parks and ul­tra mega so­lar power projects will be set up by 2019-20 with fi­nan­cial sup­port of ₹ 8,100 crore from the Cen­tre.

Pro­duc­tion of 64 bil­lion units of elec­tric­ity per year un­der the scheme will lead to abate­ment of about 55 mil­lion tonnes of car­bon ev­ery year.

Goyal said the scheme will also con­trib­ute to long-term en­ergy se­cu­rity of the coun­try and pro­mote eco­log­i­cally-sus­tain­able growth by re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions and car­bon foot­print, along with gen­er­at­ing large di­rect and in­di­rect em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in so­lar and al­lied in­dus­tries such as glass, met­als and heavy in­dus­trial equip­ment.

All states and union ter­ri­to­ries are el­i­gi­ble for ben­e­fits un­der the scheme, which en­vis­ages nom­i­na­tion of so­lar power park de­vel­op­ers by state gov­ern­ments as well as iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of land for the pro­posed so­lar parks. The pro­posal will be sent to the re­new­able en­ergy min­istry, which will sanc­tion fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of up to ₹ 20 lakh per megawatt, or 30% of the pro­ject cost, which­ever is lower. So­lar En­ergy Cor­po­ra­tion In­dia (SECI) will ad­min­is­ter the scheme.

Till now, 34 so­lar parks with 20,000 MW ag­gre­gate ca­pac­ity have been ap­proved and are at var­i­ous stages of devel­op­ment. CCEA also ap­proved in­vest­ment of ₹ 5,723.72 crore by state-run SJVN Ltd in the 900 MW Arun-III hy­dropower pro­ject in Nepal. Fi­nan­cial clo­sure for the pro­ject is ex­pected to be achieved by Septem­ber and is sched­uled to be com­pleted in five years. SJVN bagged the pro­ject through in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive bid­ding and a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) was signed be­tween Nepal and the com­pany in March 2008 for ex­e­cu­tion on build-own­op­er­ate-trans­fer ba­sis for 30 years, in­clud­ing five years of con­struc­tion pe­riod. The pro­ject will of­fer 21.9% free power to Nepal for 25 years and gen­er­ate em­ploy­ment for about 3,000 per­sons in In­dia and Nepal.

The pro­ject will pro­vide sur­plus power to In­dia, strength­en­ing power avail­abil­ity in the coun­try as well as eco­nomic ties with Nepal. The power from the pro­ject shall be ex­ported from Dhalke­bar in Nepal to Muzaf­farpur in In­dia, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial state­ment.

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