March 20, 2021 6:26:52 pm
Solar power project developers in Gujarat have written to the state government stating that 200 solar power projects that are ready to for commissioning are lying in disuse due to an abrupt change in the solar policy.
“Since the end of December 2020, Gujarat government has stopped installing meters for these 200-odd projects. Installation of meters is the final stage of commissioning a project. More than Rs 1500 crore worth of solar projects are ready, but they are lying is disuse for the last 90 days,” said a solar power project developer who was one of the signatories of the letter written to the Gujarat government in February 2021.
The bone of contention is a new amendment brought by the Union Ministry of Power which allows net metering for solar projects having loads upto 10kw. As per the Electricity Amendment Rule 2020, project having loads above 10kw, gross metering will apply. “MSMEs and individuals will suffer and become non-competitive as they will have to pay more in gross metering. What we do not understand is why Gujarat government has stopped installing meters, when other state governments like those in Rajasthan have been installing meters despite the national guideline,” the solar project developer said while addressing media persons on Friday. The solar project developers choose to remain anonymous because of business concerns.
These solar project developers in their letter have sought for extension of time frame for commissioning of projects registered under the Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2015. The developers who are from the MSME sector fears that the due to the introduction of gross metering by the Union government, the power cost of the industry will go up, the payback period of solar industry will increase three times, huge amounts spent by government in subsidy will go waste and small industries in this sector will collapse.
The developers said the stuck projects in Gujarat are those that have already received registration from GEDA during the 2015 policy period; projects that have completed installation work; projects that have completed net metering tests, among others.
The state government officials did not respond on the issue when contacted. The solar project developers also said the state government’s new solar policy was introduced without consulting the stakeholders operating in this segment.
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