In an important development, the Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL) has received over 1,454 acres of vacant land for setting up solar projects.
According to a government notification, the collector of the Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh awarded 1,454.06 acres of land to Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation.
In 2017, 2,395.98 acres of land was allotted free of cost to Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) in Prakasam district for setting up Donakonda Mega Industrial Hub.
However, in 2018, the collector had sought permission from the Andhra Pradesh government to transfer 1,454.06 acres of land from the earmarked land to APGECL to set up a solar project.
Now, the Andhra government has issued an order permitting allotment of the land to APGECL for the solar project.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Andhra Pradesh has 3.5 GW of large-scale solar projects in operations, and approximately 1.3 GW of projects are under the development pipeline, as of June 2020.
In August 2020, the government of Andhra Pradesh issued an order allowing the exemption of stamp duty and reduction in the registration fee for lands for the development of solar projects. The registration fee has been reduced to ₹1 ($0.01) on every ₹1,000 ($13.37) of the value of the document on land deeds entered by APGECL with landowners.
The state recently issued an order with guidelines to implement its 10 GW solar power project program. The program aims to provide nine hours of free power during the day to farmers without increasing the financial burden on the state’s distribution companies. The program was originally proposed in February and approved in June.
In July, the state amended the guidelines of the program to address cash flow issues. The state government, among other amendments, changed the tariff model for the program to provide for a levelized tariff structure for 25 years. It also lowered land lease rentals on government lands to ₹5 (~$0.06721) /acre. The government explained that this nominal rate would result in lower tariffs and lesser cash outflows for the government. The government would be revenue-neutral and not suffer any loss on account of charging nominal lease rent, the amendment added.
Mercom has previously written about how land is still the biggest impediment in large-scale solar development. Read the full report here.
Image credit: Ceinturion / CC BY-SA
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.