With just 50,000 households coming forward to avail the Gujarat government’s subsidy scheme for solar rooftops in the residential sector in the past three years, the government on Monday said it has made several relaxations including extending the SURYA (Surya Urja Rooftop Yojana) scheme to cover group housing societies and residential welfare associations. By financial year 2021-22, the government targets to cover rooftops of 8 lakh households with photovoltaic systems to produce 1,600 MW of solar power.
“Now a common man will be able to produce electricity by setting up photovoltaic systems on his rooftop or anywhere on his residential premises,” state Energy Minister Saurab Patel said while announcing the changes. “He can use this power and can sell the additional power at the rate of Rs 2.25 per unit to the government for a period of 25 years.” Patel claimed that Gujarat was the top state in implementing solar rooftop projects in the country.
The Gujarat government has commissioned 180 MW of solar power covering rooftops of 50,000 households in the residential sector, the preamble of the amended scheme states. It puts the total cost of setting up one kilowatt (KW) of solar rooftop system between Rs 46,827-33,999.
“Permission will be given to 2 lakh houses on first-come-first-serve basis till March 31, 2020,” Patel said, adding that 1,600 MW of solar power will be produced through rooftops in Gujarat by 2021-22. He said the state government had made a provision of Rs 1,000 crore in the current year’s budget in this regard and that the state government would provide 40 per cent subsidy to solar rooftop systems of up to 2 KW capacity and 20% percent subsidy to those of 3 KW to 10 KW capacity. “Under the old scheme, a residential owner cannot set up a solar rooftop system that is more than the contracted load. But under the new scheme, the owner can set up any capacity solar rooftop system but the state government will not give any subsidy beyond 10 KW,” Patel said.
The minister said the subsidy would also be extended to cover group housing societies and residential welfare associations, and they can set up the rooftop system for running common amenities such as the water pump for the borewell, gymnasium, swimming pool and lighting in common areas. The subsidy — 20 per cent for solar rooftop system, limited to 10KW per house — shall not exceed 500 KW per society or association.
Patel said the state government had given letters for empanelling 450 firms manufacturing solar rooftop systems. “Till yesterday, 70 companies have already signed agreements with us,” he said, adding that a consumer can select any of the empanelled companies for setting up rooftop systems and submit an application online. The company will also provide a five-year contract.
Solar cells and modules of non-Indian origin will not be eligible for subsidy under the scheme, and only new plant and machinery will be allowed for installation.
Industrial, commercial and other consumers including government and semi-government organisations will be eligible for this subsidy. The solar rooftop system which has been registered under the Solar Power Policy 2015, prior to the introduction of the scheme will also be eligible.