Defence establishments trip on solar power target
While the Central Government had allocated a target of generating 357 megawatts (MW) of electricity by harnessing solar energy in military stations and other defence establishments, only 7 MW has been commissioned two years.
after the scheme was approved.Under the scheme, cleared by the Cabinet in December 2014 and given administrative approval by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in January 2015, solar power projects of a minimum of 1 MW are to be set up on large tracts of vacant land and rooftops owned by defence establishments.
The total potential of solar energy, which can be linked to the power grid, is about 5,000 MW in cantonments and, military stations across the country and 950 MW in the state-run ordnance factories.Of eight defence establishments that were to generate 357.5 MW, only the Ordnance Factory Board has commissioned its allocated target of 7 MW.
The Department of Defence (DoD) and Bharat Electronic Limited (BEL) have the highest target of 150 MW each.At present, the DoD is setting up plants to produce 26 MW, for which construction is under way.
The BEL is undertaking construction of plants for generating 35 MW, while tendering process is under way for another 36 MW. Other establishments, which include defence public sector units like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited, have been allocated targets varying between 1.5-25 MW, for which tendering process or construction is in progress.Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy has stressed time-bound achievement of targets and urged the Centre that defence establishments should set a target of generating 5,000 MW grid-connected solar power.