The government and cabinet of ministers of Goa have approved the state’s Draft Solar Policy 2017, which sets a target of achieving 150 MW of solar by 2021. The policy is set to become effective on the date of notification in the official gazette and will remain in force for up to seven years.
The approval comes five months after GEDA first released its Draft Solar Policy 2017 in July 2017.
“Initially we will target 50 MW solar energy generation. The union government has given the state a target of 150 MW of power generation till 2021,” said Goa Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar.
“This is a first step toward green solutions. By this financial year end, the policy will start showing results,” added Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
“Gross metering will be done with those who generate energy. They will be paid for power generation. The power producers can participate in reverse bidding. There will be no need of land conversions for solar power generation,” added Parrikar.
Key Policy Highlights
- The policy calls for projects with capacities ranging from 100 kW to 1 MW to be completed within 240 days of the date of project approval by the Goa Energy Development Agency (GEDA).
- For projects of 1 MW and above, the project completion timeframe will be set at one year from the date that GEDA approves the project.
- The cumulative solar capacity allowed at any distribution transformer will not be permitted to exceed 30 percent of the transformer’s peak capacity.
- For solar projects of up to 100 kW, the state government will grant 50 percent of the capital cost or the benchmark cost provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), whichever is lower, as an interest-free loan, to be recovered in installments that start after a project has been flowing power to the grid for six months.
- The state government will provide a subsidy for 30 percent of capital costs or the benchmark cost provided by MNRE, whichever is lower, for standalone system projects with a capacity up to 100 kW. The subsidy includes battery costs for off-grid systems. Funds would be released at a rate of ₹1 for every unit of power generated and would be paid every six months.
- The policy defines consumers that produce solar power and have a connected load with the Goa Electricity Department (GED) as prosumers, and divides these prosumers into the subcategories of large and small.
- Small prosumers include residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial consumers that have a connected load of up to 100 kW with the GED.
- Large prosumers are consumers that have a connected load that is greater than 100 kW with the GED.
- A producer is defined as an entity that intends to set up a solar power project with a capacity that is greater than 100kW exclusively for the sale of power to a distribution licensee under gross metering.
- Producers are allowed participate in reverse bidding for four sizes of project installations: 100 kW to 1 MW, 1 MW to 5 MW, 5 MW to 10 MW, and 10 MW and above.
- Under the policy, the state government would grant prosumers 50 percent of the capital cost or the benchmark cost of their project provided by MNRE whichever is lower, as interest-free loan to be recovered in installments that begin after six months.
- The state government would also provide a subsidy for 30 percent of the capital cost or the benchmark cost provided by MNRE, whichever is lower, for projects up to 100 kW for standalone systems, including the cost of batteries for the off-grid systems. The subsidy would be released at a rate of ₹1 for every unit of power generated and would be paid once every six months.
- Large prosumers would have a monthly billing cycle and the settlement period would be on a six-month basis. Educational institutions will have an annual settlement period from April onwards. The billing cycle for small prosumers and producers will be on a monthly basis and their settlement would be within the next 30 days.
An empowered committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary of Goa to oversee, monitor, and resolve any issues and dispute settlements related to the policy.
Goa is not the only state to draft a solar policy. Mercom also recently reported on the Uttar Pradesh Solar Power Policy – 2017.
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Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.