We are Mulling for Series of Capacity Building, Training Programs for All Stakeholders in Chattisgarh

We are planning for a series of capacity building and training programs for all stakeholders on site selection, pre-feasibility, regulations, procedures, etc. as per solar rooftop regulation. Awareness programs for all sectors of electricity consumers for awareness and benefits of the solar rooftop are also planned. Rooftop is the highest potential sector in the state however as per present Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) regulation about 1500 MW solar photovoltaic (SPV) capacity is required by 2022 for solar RPO compliance, says Sanjeev Jain, Chief Engineer, Chattisgarh State Renewable Energy Development Agency (CREDA). In conversation with Manu Tayal, Associate Editor, Saur Energy International, Jain shared his views on various topics including the response of developers on the recently concluded pre-bid meeting, CREDA’s role in rooftop solar implementation, the scope for solar in the state, strategy for attracting stakeholders etc. Here’re the excerpts from that exclusive interview.

Q. CREDA received an overwhelming response for its recently concluded pre-bid meeting for the empanelment of vendors. More than 60+ developers participated in this; how do you quantify it as significant in the current COVID-19 scenario?

Sanjeev Jain

Sanjeev Jain, Chief Engineer, CREDA

This was the first virtual pre-bid meeting, planned by my team. Response and participation from bidders show the transparency and clarity of CREDA tender and T&C and recently announced solar rooftop regulation by the state electricity regulatory commission.

Q. As per MNRE, Discom should play a vital role in the implementation of rooftop solar (RTS) in the state under Phase-II scheme, then how CREDA will assist CSPDCL in achieving this target? Did CSPDCL mandate CREDA for the activities?

Yes, As per the MNRE, Discom is implementing agency for solar rooftop Phase II, but Discom is not having experience and expert manpower for solar rooftop while CREDA is already implementing renewable energy activities as the state nodal agency of MNRE and having trained staff in each district, hence they (CSPDCL) have authorized CREDA as implementing agency of solar rooftop in the state.

Q. In FY2020, how much capacity addition you expect to be build-out? What could be the reason that Chhattisgarh entered the solar capacity later as compared to other states, though it is seemed to be quite aggressive these days? 

We expect about 50 MW grid connect rooftop solar power plant (GCRT) this year i.e. FY 2020-21 out of which 20 MW on Capex mode in Residential and C&I category and 30 MW on Opex mode in Government buildings for which we have already floated tenders. In October 2019, Chhattisgarh State Electricity Regulatory Commission (CSERC) amended solar rooftop regulation as per FOR permitting grid connectivity of one KW solar rooftop with net metering.  up to 500 KW with clear timelines and clarity to avoid delays in approvals and inspection and synchronization etc from Discom and removed CEI inspection.

Q. Chhattisgarh achieved nearly 8 MW in the previous FY, how CREDA will assist CSPDCL to get the incentive from MNRE?

The state’s cumulative installed capacity of grid-connected rooftop solar power plant is about 20 MW till March 31, 2020. As state nodal agency (SNA) of MNRE, we are getting timely sanctions and releases from MNRE from the last 15 years and have good liaison and coordination with MNRE officials, hope to get incentives in time from MNRE this time as well.

Q. How much scope do you see in Chhattisgarh state for solar energy capacity building? What will be your strategy? Rooftop or utility-scale which is having more potential in the state?

There is lots of scope in capacity building among field officials of Discom and CREDA and SI’s of the solar rooftop. We are planning for a series of capacity building and training programs for all stakeholders on site selection, pre-feasibility, regulations, procedures, etc. as per solar rooftop regulation. Awareness programs for all sectors of electricity consumers for awareness and benefits of the solar rooftop are also planned. Rooftop is the highest potential sector in the state however as per present Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) regulation about 1500 MW solar photovoltaic (SPV) capacity is required by 2022 for solar RPO compliance. 

Q. CREDA was always at the forefront to initiate activities related to green energy, do you have any strategy to capture interest from both customers as well as SPDs to install solar energy?

We are planning to initiate the installation of solar rooftop on Opex for domestic, commercial & industrial (C&I) consumers with the tripartite agreement between solar power developers (SPD), Consumer and power distribution companies (Discom) to ensure repayment security. If the Commission approves this Discom takes up this scheme. We are also planning for financial tie-up from financial institutions and banks on the installation of the solar rooftop for domestic consumers with MNRE Central Financial Assistance (CFA). Solar rooftop installation is on priority in as per Ministry of Urban Development under Smart City Raipur, New Raipur and Bilaspur.

Awareness among consumers, demand aggregation, online application and approval, and timely connectivity of solar rooftop as per regulation will create interest among solar power developers and consumers.

Q. How SUPRABHA and the World Bank help states like Chhattisgarh in implementing various schemes related to solar energy?

The SUPRABHA, a rooftop solar Technical Assistance Program, and the World Bank team help us a lot for following in the last two years i.e.:

  1. Demand aggregation of solar rooftop in Government Buildings and Data room preparation.
  2. Preparation of tender document for Opex and Capex.
  3. Formation of solar rooftop regulation.
  4. Development of UWP for a solar rooftop for Discom.

Q. On a state level, what do you think which kind of strategies will be most effective in attracting more developers/installers in the rooftop solar segment? Or how rooftop solar can achieve greater success? Suggestions.

In my view, state solar rooftop regulation, solar policy and industrial policy are very attractive for the promotion of solar among developers and installers in the rooftop solar segment.

"Want to be featured here or have news to share? Write to info[at]saurenergy.com
Manu Tayal

Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.

      SUBSCRIBE NEWS LETTER
Scroll