Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani of Gujarat has decided to extend the timeframe of Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2015 up to December 31, 2020.
The policy was due to expire since April 1, 2020.
With a 9-month policy extension, solar power generation plants installed and commissioned till December shall become eligible for the benefits and incentives declared under this policy—for 25 years from the date of their commissioning or for the lifespan of the plant, whichever is earlier.
Giving further information about the government decision, Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabhbhai Patel said that due to the prevalent situation of Covid-19 pandemic, the state government had announced Rs 14,000-crore Gujarat Aatmanirbhar Package, under which time frames of many policies in their original forms have been extended.
With timeframe extension, PV projects with the sale of power to Discoms, sale of electricity to the third party under open access, or for captive consumption, as well as rooftop solar systems for government, residential, and commercial and industrial usage could be installed under the policy schemes.
At the same time, the state’s power distribution companies would be able to fulfil their renewable power obligation (RPO) targets, the energy minister added.
The Solar Power Policy 2015, announced in August 2015, aimed at seeking maximum participation from investors in setting up megawatt-scale solar projects under solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. Besides, it aimed to encourage smaller (kilowatt-scale) solar projects in the form of a rooftop installation.
The Energy Minister said that Gujarat is the frontal state in solar power generation in the country. It has installed renewable energy capacity of 3057 MW, against the target of 10,711 MW.
He added that the extension of the time frame in policy would boost Gujarat’s target to achieve 8 GW solar energy production by 2022.