Above 5000 MW Solar Projects Okayed

IAS Prelims 2023

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for setting up over 5,000 MW of Grid-Connected Solar PV Power Projects on build, own and operate basis.

current affairsThe work will be implemented by Solar Power Developers (SPDs) with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-lV of Phase-ll of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).The total investments expected under this scheme is about Rs 30,000 crore.

This would help in creating additional 5000 MW capacity of Grid-connected solar PV power generation projects in four trenches of each 1,250 MW capacity during four financial years viz. 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

This would also help in employment generation of about 30,000 people in rural and urban areas with reduction of about 8.525 Million T of CO2 emissions into environment every year.

The tenders will be State-specific based on the demand from particular State.  States/Union Territories/Discoms/State Utilities are the beneficiaries. This will also facilitate to create employment and infrastructure in the States.

Installation of 5000 MW Solar PV plants will generate about 8,300 Million units per year, which caters power to almost 2.5 Million households.

The estimated requirement of funds to provide VGF for 5,000 MW capacity solar projects is estimated to be Rs. 5,050 Crore (Rs 1.00 Cr / MW). This includes handling charges to Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)  @ 1% of the total grant disposed and Rs. 500 crore for payment security mechanism for all three VGF schemes of 750 MW, 2000 MW and 5000 MW.

The selection of 5,000 MW Solar PV Projects will be under State Specific VGF Scheme and projects will be set up in the Solar Parks of various states,developed through coordinated efforts of Central and State Agencies.

SECI will purchase the power from the selected Solar PV plants at the pre-determined tariff and sell the power to willing State Utilities/ Discoms under 25 years Power Sale Agreements (PSAs), at the applicable tariff.

The State Governments shall appoint a State Level Agencyfor providing necessary support to facilitate the required approvals and sanctions in a time bound manner to achieve commissioning of the projects within thescheduled timeline.

Background:

 The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) was launched in January 2010 by the Government of India with a target to setup 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 which is now enhanced upto 1,00,000 MW.

In addition to Government of India, several States have taken initiatives and come out with solar policies to support for setting up solar power projects. Many states have come out with tenders for procurement of solar power recently.