The government today approved doubling of capacity to 40,000 MW in solar parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects (UMSPP). “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects,” an official statement said. The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country.
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Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly states, where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of the difficult terrain, will also be considered under the scheme.
The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the states.
Solar Parks and UMSPPs will be set up by 2019-20 with central government’s financial support of Rs 8,100 crore.
When operational, the total capacity will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year which will lead to abatement of around 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year over its life cycle.
It would also contribute to long-term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reduction in carbon emissions and carbon footprint, as well as generate large direct and indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries like glass, metals, heavy industrial equipment.
The solar parks will also provide productive use of abundant uncultivable lands which in turn facilitate development of the surrounding areas.
All states and UTs are eligible for benefits under the scheme.
State government will first nominate Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) and also identify land for the project. It will then send the proposal to Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for approval along with the name of the SPPD.
“The SPPD will then be sanctioned a grant of up to Rs 25 lakh for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park. Thereafter, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of up to Rs 20 lakh/MW or 30 per cent of the project cost including Grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower, will be released as per the milestones prescribed in the scheme,” the statement said.
Solar Energy Corporation India (SECI) will administer the scheme under the direction of MNRE. The approved grant will be released by SECI.
The solar parks will be developed in collaboration with state governments/UTs.
The ministry is already implementing a scheme for development of at least 25 solar parks with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 MW, which was launched in December 2014.
As on date, 34 solar parks of aggregate capacity 20,000 MW have been approved which are at various stages of development.