The Gujarat government on Monday launched a new solar policy with additional benefits to residential, individual and commercial developers for the next five years.
The policy announced by the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Gandhinagar removes capacity ceiling for setting up a solar project and allows the consumers to lease out their roofs or premises to third party for generation and consumption of power in the same premises.
The State government has also allowed group ownership of solar projects for self consumption based on their ratio of ownership. Also, the security deposit required to be given to Discoms for the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by the developers has been reduced from ₹25 lakh to ₹5 lakh per megawatt (MW).
“Currently, the industry gets power at an average cost of ₹8 per unit. The new policy will help bring it down to ₹4.5 per unit,” Rupani said while launching the policy, which will be operative for five years till December 31, 2025. The benefits under the new policy can be availed for a period of 25 years.
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The savings for residential units could be in the range of ₹1.77 to ₹3.70 per unit, for industrial units it will be about ₹2.99to ₹4.31 per unit and for the third party buyers it will be in the range of ₹0.91 to ₹2.30 per unit.
The Government aims to target individual consumers, farmers, cooperative societies, households and small developers to benefit from the new policy.
The State government will purchase surplus energy after setting it off against their consumption. For residential consumers and MSME (manufacturing) users for captive usage, Discoms will purchase surplus energy after set-off against their consumption at ₹2.25 per unit for initial five years and thereafter 75 per cent of latest tariff discovered and contracted by GUVNL through competitive bidding process for non-park based solar projects in preceding six months which shall remain fixed for the remaining life of the project, a statement said.
The policy also states that for HT and LT consumers banking charges will be ₹1.5 per unit for their solar consumption while for all other consumers and MSMEs it will be ₹1.10 per unit. Further, there will be no banking charges for residential consumers and government buildings.
Saurabh Patel, Gujarat Energy Minister, said, “This policy will enable any one, be it residential consumers, farmers, commercial consumers, small and medium industrial houses, religious and educational institutes, who want to generate electricity and sell it after own consumption.”
Patel added that the State has received bids for 2,300 MW from residential, small industrial and institutional power producers having a capacity of up to 4 MW at an average price of ₹2.83 per unit. The contracts will be awarded after January 3, depending on the grid requirements.
Gujarat has already achieved 11,000 MW of production capacity and now has the target of producing 30,000 MW of green energy by 2022 — largely through wind and solar. Gujarat has implemented solar rooftop projects generating about 800 MW solar power.