The state’s Minister of Law and Justice, Additional Energy Resources and Political Pention, Brijesh Pathak said Uttar Pradesh will promote private solar power parks as public-private partnerships, in order to reduce its dependence on coal and achieve the target of 10.7 GW of solar energy generation by 2022.
The state will foot the bill for evacuating power from solar energy projects of 5 MW and above into the grid in the Bundelkhand and Purvanchal regions, he added.
Since it is abundant in barren land, the Bundelkhand region in particular, is considered ideal for the development of solar. According to the Press Trust of India, the state government announced in January that it would prepare a plan to develop a green energy corridor here, with around 4 GW of solar power, at an investment of around Rs 40 billion.
Meanwhile, under its 2017 solar energy policy, the state government set a target of 10.7 GW of installed solar capacity by 2022, 6.4 GW of which is set to comprise PPA linked utility-scale power projects that feed directly into the grid. The remaining 4.3 GW should comprise rooftop systems.
For new solar power projects in Bundelkhand and eastern UP, the state government has said it will bear the costs of either grid connection or of laying overhead power lines.
The ceiling limit for buying land – set at 5,058 hectares under the 1973 Ceiling Act– has also been exclusively removed for the setting up of solar power plants; while developers have been exempted from stamp duties, and electricity duties for at least the next 10 years.
Furthermore, as an additional incentive, investors are now allowed to sell power to individual or institutional consumers both in and outside of the state. In the previous policy framework, the sale of power was restricted with developers required to feed all the energy generated to UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL).
To date, Uttar Pradesh has installed just 635 MW of solar capacity; it has a further 300 MW in the pipeline.