Guidelines for new solar projects unveiled
Dr Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and Shri SushilKumar Shinde, Union Minister for Power have jointly unveiled the guidelines for selection of new solar power projects under the 1000 MW solar power scheme in the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. This would put India in league with countries like Germany, Spain and Japan who are leaders in harnessing solar power, said a statement released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Farooq Abdullah said that he is committed to adding 1100 MW of grid connected solar power by the end of the first phase of the Mission and this will only be possible if all activities are carried out with clockwork precision.
The Minister informed the gathering that a tremendous excitement both domestically and internationally about our National Solar Mission was evident from the fact that the small grid connected plants scheme that was recently launched attracted nearly 400 MW worth of applications- nearly 4 times the available capacity. He said that he has asked IREDA to ensure that it should announce the list of eligible projects selected under the scheme latest by August 15, 2010.
Dr Abdullah anticipated a similarly large response in the large grid-connected power plants as well and expressed hope that NVVN will now take immediate steps to bring out the expression of interest, invite applications and select eligible developers under the policy released.
The new and Renewable Energy Minister also acknowledged the effort put in by both the Secretaries and their team of officers, scientists and experts involved in the process for operationalising the Mission in record time.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shinde said that the guidelines have been finalised after considerable deliberations in true spirit for the success of the National Solar Mission. He said that the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN), a wholly owned subsidiary of NTPC, is the nodal agency for entering into PPA with Solar Power Developers and will shortly be inviting project developers to participate in the Request for Selection (RFS) for development of Solar Projects under this scheme.
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru Mational Solar Mission, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which is the power trading arm of the NTPC has been designated as the nodal agency to purchase solar power generated by independent solar power producers, at rates fixed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission(CERC) and for a period of 25 years. For 2010 -11 the CERC has fixed the rate of Rs. 17.91 per Unit for PV and Rs 15.31 per unit for solar thermal power projects. The rates will be applicable for Solar PV projects commissioned by March 2012 and Solar Thermal projects commissioned by March 2013. Government will provide equivalent MW of power from the unallocated quota of NTPC for bundling with solar power. NVVN will select projects to set up about 1000MW capacity of solar power plants based on solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. The utilities will be able to account for purchase of solar power against their RPO obligations.
Government has also announced guidelines to encourage domestic manufacture. Dr Abdullah has invited global solar companies to invest in India.
NVVN also signed MoU with 16 Project developers to set up to 84 MW capacity solar power projects. Under Migration 54 MW capacity will be through solar PV and balance 30 MW through solar thermal technology .These projects are expected to be commissioned by middle of next year.
Earlier this year, on 16th of June , 2010, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had announced the guidelines for providing support for off gid solar applications and also small grid connected solar power plants of 100kW to 2 MW capacities.The Ministry has now released the guidelines concerning all the three major deployment programmes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to fully operationalise the deployment related activities.