The states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh (UP) have submitted proposals to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to replace a combined 1,067 MW of energy from conventional power plants with solar. The MNRE has asked states to submit a Letter of Intent (LoI) by October 14, 2016 and plans to replace the conventional power projects with solar power projects for irrigation purposes.

According to a government document, the MNRE has received the following proposals from five states:

Sources at MNRE said that there are many conventional energy projects that are in operation with the primary motive of supplying power for irrigation projects and since irrigation does not require a 24/7 power supply it is easier to replace such projects with solar. Only conventional energy projects that can be shut down without adversely affecting the grid would be considered, and for that reason Bihar for example has proposed only 1 MW of capacity to be replaced with solar.

A MNRE official also added that in order to complement a number of irrigation projects announced by the Telangana state government, the state has proposed an ambitious 1,000 MW capacity to be replaced with solar. The official went on to state that all Indian states had been invited to participate in this program but only five states submitted proposals.

The  MNRE will come up with guidelines regarding the replacement program. The capacity to be replaced in each state will be auctioned by state nodal agencies.

Image credit: “Black Rock Solar photovoltaic array at P” (CC BY 2.0) by Black Rock Solar