Shimla, September 29
In a shift from hydroelectric power, the Himachal Government has amended the Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy 2021 to attract investors to the solar power sector. It has received an overwhelming response from bidders for setting up solar power projects of 140 MW capacity.
Royalty of 5 paise per unit to be charged
- The government will charge a royalty of 5 paise per unit from all solar power projects of more than 1 MW capacity
- In case of projects of up to 5 MW capacity, the HPSEB to purchase the power generated
The Department of Power made amendments to the Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy on September 21 to offer more incentives to promote solar energy. Norms were changed for grid-connected rooftop solar power plants (50 KW and up to 1 MW) under the net metering scheme. A royalty of 5 paise per unit would now be charged from all solar power projects of more than 1 MW capacity while in case of projects up to 5 MW, the HP State Electricity Board (HPSEB) would purchase the power generated.
Current electricity generation
38.6 MW through ground-mounted projects
20.28 MW through rooftop solar plants
500 MW target for 2023-24
Himurja has allotted 93 solar power projects of 131 MW capacity
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu today said, “To promote solar energy, the government will purchase power from these projects for 25 years. These projects will provide clean energy and create employment avenues,” He added that the government had set a target of making Himachal a ‘green energy state’ by March 31, 2026. The government was giving 40 per cent subsidy for setting up solar projects of 250 KW to two MW capacity on private land.
Himurja has allotted 93 solar projects (250 KW to 5 MW) of 131.4 MW capacity and about 100 applications have been received for 87 MW capacity projects.
The government has set a target to establish solar power projects of 500 MW capacity in 2023-24. A 2 MW solar project has already been sanctioned for the Spiti valley while tenders have been invited for two projects of 400 KW each at Hillour and Dharwas villages in Pangi, Chamba. HP Power Corporation Ltd has been allotted a 32 MW solar plant at Pekhubella village and a 14 MW project at Aglohar, both in Una district.
At present, there are 173 hydroelectric power projects in Himachal having a total capacity of 11,154.48 MW. Besides, 60 hydroelectric projects of 2,884 MW capacity are under construction and 719 projects of 7,697 MW capacity are under various stages of clearance.
Himachal has a hydropower potential of 25,000 MW but there has been a lukewarm response to the sector from investors. The work at some of the allotted projects has been going on at a snail’s pace. Some investors have even expressed desire to surrender the projects allotted earlier.
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