Andhra Pradesh targets 5 GW of solar under new policy


The Indian state aims to install 18 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2021-22, which would comprise 10% of the country’s overall target.

In a circular dated January 3, 2019, the main policy objectives include developing solar parks with the necessary utility infrastructure facilities; promoting distributed generation; deploying solar-powered agricultural pump sets; and promoting local manufacturing facilities, which will generate employment in the state.

The Andhra Pradesh government has said it will initially develop 4 GW of large-scale solar parks, which will include manufacturing zones, and R&D and training centers.

It will also promote solar rooftop systems on public, domestic, and commercial and industrial buildings on either a gross or net metering basis, with consumers free to choose either option for the sale of power to discoms.

In the next five years, the state also plans to install 50,000 operational solar-powered pump sets, without any additional financial burden to farmers.

Meanwhile, to promote domestic manufacturing, the state has said it will, among other things, provide priority allotment of government-owned land on a long-term lease basis; exempt electricity duties for a period of 10 years; and extend energy banking facilities for any PV projects developed by manufacturers.

The 2018 policy supersedes the Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Policy 2015, which provided several fiscal incentives for the large-scale promotion of projects. It helped drive the cumulative installed capacity of solar power in the state to 2,515.78 MW.

In related news, providing further impetus to hybrid projects, the state has announced several initiatives, such as investor-friendly solar and wind power policies for new wind/solar hybrid projects and the hybridization of existing wind and solar plants.

“The main objective of the Policy is to provide a framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar PV systems for optimal and efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land, reducing the variability in renewable power generation and thus achieving better grid stability,” according to the latest wind/solar policy circular.

With around 300 sunny days a year, leading to a solar raditation of more than 5kWh/m²/day, and home to two of the best performing power distribution companies in India – APEPDCL and APSPDCL – Andhra Pradesh has also been selected by India’s Ministry of Power as one of the pilot states for implementation of the 24X7 – Power for All (PFA) scheme.

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