The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a grant of ₹650 million (~$8.63 million) towards a program for the solarization of the Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat, in what would be a pilot demonstration project for a town running entirely on solar energy.
The project is expected to fulfill all the domestic and agricultural electricity of all the households in the district using only solar energy. The program will receive an investment of ₹650 million (~$8.63 million), of which 50% will come in the form of central financial assistance (CFA) from the Government of India through the MNRE and 50% from the Government of Gujarat.
The project will be implemented by the Government of Gujarat, according to the notice issued by the MNRE. Gujarat is expected to select a program implementing agency to issue tenders for the projects, monitor progress, and to ensure compliance with the MNRE’s program while submitting monthly progress reports to the MNRE.
The components involved in the project include a 6 MW ground-ground mounted solar project, 271 rooftop solar systems (1 kW), 100 kW of rooftop solar systems on government buildings, 15 MW and 6 MW battery energy storage systems (BESS), and other smart energy components.
The bidding will be on the combined project cost for implementing all of these elements and maintaining them collectively. The terms and duration of operation and maintenance may be different for different components. The successful bidder will be responsible for implementing all five renewable energy installations.
The MNRE also noted that the first 50% of the eligible CFA would be disbursed at the time of the issue of the Letter of Award (LoA), and the remaining will be provided on the successful commissioning of the project.
Previously, the Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE) asked states to prepare innovative business models for implementing Pradhan Mantri-Kisan Urja Suraksha Evan Utthan Mahaabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) program. Citing the example of business models for the solarization of pumps adopted in Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra, the MNRE has asked other states to follow suit.
Recently, Mercom reported that Gujarat’s Finance Minister Nitinbhai Patel presented the state budget for the financial year 2020-21, which included a ₹9.12 billion (~$127.19 million) provision for a subsidy for solar rooftop projects and a ₹1.25 billion (~$17.43 million) towards the KUSUM program.
Image credit: Gujarat Tourism
Nithin Thomas is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. More articles from Nithin.