Uttar Pradesh will become the hub of solar energy, says State’s energy minister

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Uttar Pradesh energy minister Pt Shrikant Sharma said that Uttar Pradesh is emerging as one among India’s leading states in the field of solar energy. The state aims to generate 10.7 GW of electricity from solar energy by 2022. Of this, 6.4 GW will come from utility-scale projects and 4.3 GW from grid-connected solar rooftop. The target will be increased to 15 GW and 8.5 GW, respectively, by 2030.

So far, the government has approved 1657 MW of solar projects worth over Rs 5500 crore under various schemes, out of which 946 MW projects have already been set up. These also include the country’s largest floating solar power plant of 150 MW capacity in Rihand Hydroelectric Project of Sonbhadra. The plant—being set up at a cost of Rs 750 crore—will start power generation from March 2021.

Solar pumpsets

To make the farmers self-reliant, the state government has given solar pumps to 18,823 farmers in three years. Installation of 16,000 solar pumps is planned in the current financial year.

The government is also going to start a campaign to convert farmers’ diesel pumpsets into solar. Under this, it aims to replace one lakh diesel pumpsets with solar pumpsets by 2030. At the same time, grid-connected solar pumps will be installed for one lakh farmers.

At present, on installation of up to 3 HP pumps the central and state governments give grants of 45% and 30%, respectively. The grant is 30-30% on 5HP solar pump connections. The help of NABARD and other institutions is also being taken for the remaining 40%.

To increase income, under the Prime Minister Kusum A scheme farmers can install solar power plants ranging from 500 KW to 2 MW capacity on their land. The government will buy power generated from these plants at a rate of Rs 3.10/unit. Soon the government will invite proposals for this. It targets to set up 1000 MW such plants by 2030.

Residential solar

Domestic electricity consumers can also avail state and central government subsidies on the installation of solar power plants.

Under the Solar Energy Policy-2017, the State Government provides a grant of Rs 15,000 per KW and a maximum of Rs 30,000 per consumer for the installation of grid connected solar rooftop plants in private buildings. The Center grants 40% up to 3 KW and 20% above 3 KW. So far, 225 MW rooftop solar plants have been established in the state.