Uttarakhand allots solar projects worth Rs 600 crore to local developers

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Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has allotted solar energy projects worth Rs 600 crore to local entrepreneurs. The projects—to be developed in capacities ranging from 100 KW to 5000 KW—will generate an estimated 148.85 MW of solar power. These are to be completed by June 2020.

Another 52 MW of solar power projects worth Rs 200 crore will also be distributed soon among local developers, the minister announced. This capacity has been retendered with August 22 as the deadline for bid submission.

Describing the allotted projects as a significant step towards economic development of hill areas, the CM said that these will help utilize the barren and uncultivable land for solar power generation.

Each entrepreneur will earn on an average Rs 66.50 lakh per annum from these environment-friendly projects, he said, while around 850 people will get employment.

Notably, after seeing the keen interest of people in solar projects at last year’s investor summit, the state government came up with industry-friendly policies to encourage investment in the state.

The state, which currently has to purchase electricity worth Rs 1000 crore, is banking on alternative energy to meet its electricity needs.

Speaking about the allotted solar power projects, secretary-energy Radhika Jha said that the Uttarakhand government has revised the solar power policy of the state by reserving solar power plants up to 5 MW capacity for the natives of hilly areas in the state.

With energy production through conventional and renewable methods considered as an industry, the allotted solar projects are entitled to all the facilities available under Uttarakhand Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Policy for 2015.

The tender inviting bids to set up these solar power plants saw 208 candidates emerge winners with minimum bids of Rs 3.30 per unit and maximum Rs 4.71 per unit against ceiling tariff of Rs 4.73 per unit. The Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited will sign power purchase agreement with the developers for 25 years.

The plants are to be completed by the developers with their own financial resources, attracting an investment of about Rs 600 crores in the state’s private sector.