With power demand growing 10-15 percent annually, and the hydropower sector taking a beating in Uttarakhand, the government has come out with a new policy to harness solar energy using unutilised space on rooftops and wasteland around buildings.
“Uttarakhand has good potential of solar power. Solar energy is available for about 300 days in the state, which provides an excellent potential for the installation of rooftop and small solar power plants.
Under the scheme, the ministry of new and renewable energy would provide one-time subsidy of 30 per cent on the benchmark cost of the project.The policy has been divided into two broad categories, where for installing up to a 100 Kw power plant, the benchmark cost would be Rs 100 per watt power (WP). In the other category, the benchmark cost would be Rs 90 per WP for installing power plants between 100 Kw to 500 Kw. In both cases, the subsidy would be 30 percent.
The hallmark of the scheme is that one can sell power to the grid under the rates decided by the Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission, which is Rs 9.20 a unit. Under the new guidelines, discoms have been asked to purchase solar power from those who produce excess solar power.The grid-interactive rooftop system can work on a net metering basis, wherein the beneficiary pays to the power utility on net meter reading basis only.Alternatively, two meters could be installed to measure the export and import of power separately.