Going Green: Any individual or firm can now own a solar park in India

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Any individual or company can now own and operate a solar park in India and get government subsidy for it if the entity, person or firm, has land. The government has amended the regulations on solar parks, allowing anyone to set up a mega scale solar power project.

In its latest amendment to the policy, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has introduced a subsidy of Rs 1.2 million per MW to private project developers. It has also offered a subsidy of Rs 1-2.5 million for parks being developed by state governments.

If a state government or any other government agency provides land, the bidder will be selected on the basis of the lowest net present value of land and operations charges. The deadline to finish the project is 18 months. To be eligible for the subsidy, the minimum capacity of a solar park will be 100 Mw, and, if it’s in a hilly area, 50 Mw.

There will be no obligation to sell a share of the power produced to the host state and the developer is free to sell power to any state or through the merchant route on trading platforms.

The move comes at a time when IL&FS Energy has joined hands with SB Energy, a subsidiary of SoftBank, to develop 20 solar parks in India.

Government officials said this was to expedite the development of solar power in India because there was a lot of private land bank that could be utilised. It would also help meet India’s target of achieving 100 Gw solar power by 2022, he said.To meet the 100 Gw target, the Centre has identified 38 solar parks, totalling 21,194 Mw. 

Less than half has been awarded by the Centre through Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the nodal bidding agency, and by the states. 

The new amendment also allows any Central public sector enterprise to set up a solar park on their land. The PSUs can either sell/lease land to a private developer or hire an EPC (engineering procurement construction) contractor to build the project if it can’t develop on its own. There is no subsidy for Central public sector enterprises.
  • In its latest amendment to the policy, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has introduced a subsidy of Rs 1.2 mn per MW to private project developers.
  • It has also offered a subsidy of Rs 1-2.5 mn for parks being developed by state governments

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