With New Target Of 30.8 GW by 2022, Changes In KUSUM Scheme Follow

With New Target Of  30.8 GW by 2022, Changes In KUSUM Scheme Follow

Close on the heels of a sanction from the President of India on expanding the scope of the PM KUSUM Scheme, the MNRE has come up with a fresh set of changes to the scheme, that will seek to enhance its reach and appeal to users. The changes, in quick succession, make it clear that the scheme is being seen as a key contributor to the 100 GW solar target for 2022, considering the target of 30.8 GW from just PM KUSUM.

The new changes cover all three components of the scheme.

Thus, under component A, land allowed for use has been expanded to cover pasturelands and marshy lands also. Projects under 500 KWh will also be allowed subject to state level nod for feasibility. For renewable power generators, the deadline for commissioning will be 12 months from LOA (Letter of allotment) now, with no penalties for power production below rated CUF.

In component B, MNRE will now retain 33 percent of  eligible service charges for information, communication and education (IEC) activities. MNRE will release 50 percent of the service charge to state agencies after placement of LOA for preparatory activities. For aggregated solar demand from groups of users, Central Financial Assistance (CFA), hitherto limited upto 7.5 HP capacity, will be allowed for higher pump capacity, while taking upto 5 HP per member as the maximum allowable benchmark. Eligibility norms have also been tweaked to allow manufacturers of modules, pump controllers, solar pumps, or these in JV with system integrators to bid and install.

UPSC (Universal Solar Pump Controllers) continue to be out of the subsidy net, even if the price of solar pumps with these is less than those without.

On testing certificates too, the same certificate issued to a single installer/manufacturer for any equipment can be used by others provided the original certificate owner has no objections and gives it in writing.

The new rules certainly tick all the boxes, in terms of simplifying, expanding and improving the market for solar pumps. Though, questions are bound to be raised on the need to use 33 percent of  service charges for so called IEC activities.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International