The Rajasthan government, through the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL), has launched its Solar Energy Policy 2019. The policy aims to deploy 25 GW of solar energy capacity in the state by 2020-2021 and 50 GW over the next 5-6 years in order to meet the renewable purchase obligations (RPOs) of distribution companies.
The state has an installed solar capacity of 3.5 GW as of Q2 2019, according to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker. A total of 442 MW of solar projects are under development in the state.
This solar policy aims to promote the development of decentralized grid-connected projects, rooftop solar, utility-scale solar, solar parks and solar-based electric vehicle charging stations. The policy will also aim to strengthen the transmission and distribution network for solar energy projects in the state.
According to the policy, RREC will not allow new applications for registration of solar power projects under the renewable energy certificate (REC) program. However, the power generated from projects commissioned on or before March 31, 2019, will be purchased by DISCOMs of Rajasthan as per the RERC regulations. These solar power producers will be allowed to sell REC certificates as per the regulations of the respective commission.
The state is expected to promote the development of solar energy projects for captive as well as third party use, however this will be limited to average annual demand (MW). For solar park projects, the state will facilitate private solar park developers to apply for projects and joint ventures between the state and other parties.
Developers would have to register their solar projects with the RREC under the new policy. Developers would have to pay a registration fee of anywhere between ₹50,000 ($700) to ₹3 million ($41,893) depending on the size of the project. Further, developers would also have to contribute to a local area development fund that shall cost around ₹25,000 ($350)/MW.
The solar policy goes on to set the limit for maximum land that could be allotted for solar projects depending on the technology. For solar projects developed using crystalline technology, the Rajasthan government will allow 2 hectares/MW. For the same projects using trackers, the land allocation limit will be 3 hectares/MW.
The policy will allow banking of power as per the state regulations. Similarly, wheeling, transmission charges, and electricity duty will also be governed by RERC regulations.
Earlier this month, the state issued a draft version of its policy on wind and wind-solar hybrid projects. The policy aims to establish Rajasthan as a leader for wind energy, including the wind-solar hybrid in a phased manner.
The revised 2019-2020 budget for Rajasthan had introduced various grants for the renewable energy sector. The budget targeted setting up of 1,426 MW of wind and 4,885 MW of solar energy projects in the next five years. The revised budget for Rajasthan also focused on strengthening the power evacuation and transmission infrastructure.
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.