Himachal Pradesh government aims to add 10 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 under its ‘Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy’ to be presented this year.
Himachal Pradesh leads in hydropower generation. With the government including large hydropower projects and over 25 MW under renewable energy, the state is hopeful of being a major clean energy hub.
While presenting the budget for the financial year (FY) 2021-22, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stated that in November 2020, the state government gave one-time relaxation to power producers to construct pending hydropower projects at an early date.
During FY 2021-22, hydropower projects of around 755 MW capacity are expected to be commissioned, including 400 MW of Parvati-II, 180 MW of Bajoli Holi, 150 MW of Tidong-I, and 25 MW of Lambadug.
The Chief Minister said the state government would identify ten projects under the plug-and-play model. After seeking the necessary approvals, it would offer these projects through a competitive bidding process to the private sector.
The state government also suggests installing grid-connected rooftop solar systems at all health and education institutions in a phased manner. It has set a 2 MW rooftop capacity target for the proposed program.
The budget also proposed distributing off-grid solar power systems of 250 W each to 1,500 families below the poverty line (BPL) in Pangi valley, Lahaul, and Spiti.
In May 2021, the Himachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (Himurja) invited bids for the supply, installation, and commissioning of 1,700 off-grid solar systems of 250 W capacity each in the premises of individual households in the tribal areas of the state.
The Government is also expected to develop a solar-powered drinking water supply system in Paonta Sahib as a pilot project in FY 2021-22. Similarly, ten more such programs will be identified with scope for solar energy-driven water pumping.
The Chief Minister informed the state legislative assembly that the Government is committed to providing a reliable 24*7 power supply to all consumers. Therefore, the Government would start five new extra-high-voltage programs that would enhance the capacity by 417 MVA.
In addition, 29 new programs will be introduced for qualitative improvement in power supply, and 23 under construction programs will be completed during the financial year.
The Government will also replace all electro-mechanical meters with electronic meters next year. The state electricity board will be expected to bring aggregate technical and commercial losses in single digit by 2024-25.
The state government is expected to construct ten new substations with 1,314 MVA capacity under its HP Clean Energy Transmission Investment Program. Furthermore, 454 circuit kilometers (ckm) of transmission lines will be developed to expand the state’s transmission network with a budgetary outlay of ₹4.13 billion (~$55.58 million). This would help procure power from Ravi, Bias, Chenab, and Satluj rivers basins and improve power supply reliability.
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