New Guidelines for Distributed Solar Projects in Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the implementation timeline of distributed grid-connected solar power projects in Andaman & Nicobar, and Lakshadweep islands. In order to allow completion of projects, the timeline for the implementation has been extended from 2016-17 to 2018-19 to 2016-17 to 2019-20.

Other amendments that have been issued by the MNRE are as follows:

  • Revision of the capacity of the distributed solar energy projects to be developed under the scheme from 40 MW to 52 MW.
  • The scope of the existing scheme to support development of standalone solar PV power projects, standalone battery energy storage systems (BESS), solar PV projects with BESS transmission system and floating solar PV power plants (with or without BESS)
  • The ministry has also added an amendment for the insertion of a clause in the scheme that will allow MNRE to make amendments in the scheme modalities to ensure its timely implementation
  • In case the projects are proposed by NTPC and a long transmission line is required for the evacuation of power, it should be within the financial limit of transmission system cost of ₹480 million ($6.7 million) and corresponding central financial assistance of 40 percent of cost that would equate to ₹192 million ($2.7 million)

The guidelines for implementation of this scheme were initially announced back in 2016. Since then, the development timelines for the scheme have been revised once before in May, 2018 and Mercom had also reported on these first set of amendments.

The union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands joined Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) program which was implemented by the government of India to assist the financial turnaround of DISCOMs (utilities/distribution company) in Nov 2017. Andaman & Nicobar Islands was said to derive net benefit of ₹180 million (~$2.8 million) by way of cheaper funds for capex, reduction in aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) and transmission losses and interventions in energy efficiency, during the period of turnaround.

In March 2018, the union territory of Lakshadweep joined the UDAY program. According to the statement released by the Ministry of Power, Lakshadweep would receive an overall net benefit of approximately ₹80 million (~$1,225,680) by participating in government’s UDAY program.

Image credit: Manvendra Bhangui from Chennai, India [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Shaurya Bajaj is a staff reporter for Mercomindia.com.