Govt to double solar power park capacity to 40 GW

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The government on Wednesday approved a plan to double the capacity of solar parks and ultra-mega solar power projects (UMSPP) to 40,000 MW from 20,000 mw.

Briefing reporters on the decision taken by the Cabinet’s panel on economic affairs, power minister Piyush Goyaltold reporters a roadmap would be finalised shortly to set up at least 50 solar parks, each with a capacity of 500 MW except in hilly areas where adequate land is not available.

These 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.

These solar parks will be set up by 2019-20 with a financial assistance of Rs 8,100 crore from the Centre. After completion, the total capacity of all solar parks will generate 64 billion units of electricity per year, saving 55 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per year over their life cycle.

State governments will first nominate solar power park developer (SPPD) and also identify land for the project. They will then send the proposal to the 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 detailed project report. Thereafter, Central financial assistance of up to Rs 20 lakh per MW, or 30% of the project cost, including grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower, will be released as per the milestones prescribed in the scheme,” a government statement said.

The renewable energy ministry is 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 with an aggregate capacity of 20,000 mw have been approved and are at various stages of development.

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