With power demand growing 10-15 percent annually, and the hydropower sector taking a beating in Uttarakhand, the government has come out with a new policy to harness solar energy using unutilised space on rooftops and wasteland around buildings.
“Uttarakhand has good potential of solar power. Solar energy is available for about 300 days in the state, which provides an excellent potential for the installation of rooftop and small solar power plants,” said A K Tyagi, chief project officer of the Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency.
The policy has been divided into two broad categories, where for installating upto a 100 Kw power plant, the benchmark cost would be Rs 100 per watt power (WP). In the other category, the benchmark cost would be Rs 90 per WP for installing power plants between 100 Kw to 500 Kw. In both cases, the subsidy would be 30 percent.
The hallmark of the scheme is that one can sell power to the grid under the rates decided by the Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission, which is Rs 9.20 a unit. Under the new guidelines, discoms have been asked to purchase solar power from those who produce excess solar power.
The government has fixed a target of producing 2,500 Kw of solar power this year from the new rooftop scheme. “This year our target is 2,500 Mw. But we will review our target next year,” said Tyagi. “We are offering scheme on first-come-first basis,” he said.
The grid-interactive rooftop system can work on a net metering basis, wherein the beneficiary pays to the power utility on net meter reading basis only.
Alternatively, two meters could be installed to measure the export and import of power separately, Tyagi said.
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