The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has allowed Garrison Engineer (Army) Makarpura Road, Vadodara to commission a 1 MW solar project which exceeded 50% of its contract demand.
The respondent, in this case, was Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited.
As per the petition filed by the Garrison Engineer, in 2015, it had been chosen and assigned to set up solar power projects of 1 MW capacity. However, the contract demand of the military station is around 1,900 kVA.
According to Gujarat’s solar policy, the capacity of a solar project cannot be more than 50% of the total contract demand for any entity.
So, the maximum capacity allowed to be set up as per the Gujarat solar policy at the military station is 855 kW. Consequently, the petition of the Garrison Engineer requested that since the project has been developed under the policy that called for setting up 300 MW of grid-connected and off-grid solar projects by defense establishments with viability gap funding (VGF) and had a minimum project capacity threshold of 1 MW, it should be allowed to be commissioned under special circumstances.
After going through the submissions of the petitioner, the GERC ordered that the restriction of 50% of contract demand as per the GERC net metering regulations will not apply to these solar projects. The permission was granted based on the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003, which does not apply to the ministry or department of the central government dealing with defense, atomic energy or any other similar entities.
Recently, in a welcome move, the Gujarat government relaxed the state’s solar policy to allow micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) to install solar projects that are more than 100% of their sanctioned load or contract demand.
In May 2019, Mercom reported that under project Roshni, the Indian Army’s Bhaderwah-based counter-insurgency unit Rashtriya Rifles, installed solar lights in poor and remote villages of Thanhala and Ganori-Kahara located in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district.
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.