Government of India sanctions three ultra mega solar power projects for Maharashtra

The Government of India has sanctioned three ultra mega solar power projects in Maharashtra. Of three, one will be set up in Vidarbha while the other two will be in Marathwada and Khandesh. A committee of an eleven member under principal secretary (energy) had been set up to identify the sites for these plants. According to a MAHAGENCO official the installed capacity of each of these plants would be 500MW.

solar power projects

“The central government has set a target of generating 1.75 lakh MW through new and renewable energy sources by 2022. Of this the share of solar power is 1 lakh MW. The state government has therefore decided to increase solar generation in the state,” the official further mentioned said.

The Maharashtra government had announced an integrated non-conventional energy policy in July 2015. It had set a target of creating 7500MW solar capacity by 2020.

“The central government has announced a solar ultra mega power project policy under which the agencies setting up such plants will get a large number of incentives. The state government sent a proposal for setting up three such plants of 500MW capacity, which has been approved,” official further added.

According to the official the biggest challenge before the state government was providing land at affordable rates to the private investor. “A 500MW solar plant will require 2,500 acre land and hence the land cost is an important parameter. The committee headed by principal secretary (energy) will select the sites keeping this factor in mind,” he added.

The other members of the committee are: Managing Directors of MSEDCL, Director General of Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA), Mahatransco and Mahagenco, etc

The Maharashtra government is promoting solar energy in a big way. It has permitted private individuals and organizations to set up solar power plants in their premises for their own consumption. Under the solar roof top grid connected policy, the consumer can get both solar and MSEDCL supply.

The government is providing solar agricultural pumps to farmers where power infrastructure is not available. It has now decided to set up dedicated solar agricultural feeders for catering to between 800 and 1,000 farmers. The cost of solar power has come down sharply in last ten years making it affordable.

Source: ET

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