On July 28, when the Rajasthan government cleared investment proposals worth Rs 1.65 lakh crore for setting up solar parks in the state with a combined capacity of 26,000 Mw, the question that remained unanswered was how this clean energy could be delivered to the end user.
The problem was that the state government could not get PowerGrid, which is supposed to connect all renewable energy centres and provide last-mile connectivity, to agree to set up transmission lines despite Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje meeting with Power Minister Piyush Goyal.
PowerGrid reasoned that it cannot start work unless the state government gives assurance that the solar power parks will be set up along the agreed alignment lines and the state develop other resources and make land available to the power producers. Any deviation from the agreed alignment would result into huge financial losses to the public-sector undertaking.
Given the technical and resource restrains, now the state government has found a way to break the logjam. It has asked the power producers in the solar parks to apply for long-term access. It means the power producers will set up localised lines near the plant to connect with the network being built by PowerGrid and also sell power to any state on any network of PowerGrid.
“What we have done is broken the ice and have got one developer, IL&FS, to file for long-term open access and they would be filing application for 250 Mw. This will become the norm and the other developers are also expected to follow the same. The land has been allotted to the company in Bhadla in Jaisalmer,” Rajasthan Chief Secretary C S Rajan told Business Standard.
According to the memorandum of understanding (MoU), IL&FS Energy and Essel Infra Projects would develop solar parks of 5,000 Mw capacity each. Adani Enterprises would install one park of 10,000 Mw capacity and Reliance Power Limited is tasked with setting up 6,000 Mw solar park. The state government’s share in the joint venture companies of these solar parks would be 50 per cent towards the land cost.
Source: Business Standard