Boomtime for rooftop? UP tops up central subsidy with Rs15,000 subsidy

In a perfect illustration of government-driven change,  a plan made six months ago finally saw the formal announcement yesterday. The state government of Uttar Pradesh has formally announced its plan to make solar rooftops more affordable for small rooftop setups of 2 KW or less.  The state government has announced an additional subsidy of Rs.15000 per kilowatt (kW) or a maximum of Rs.30000 for installation of solar plants after the Centre announced 30% subsidy on the same.  The central subsidy amounts to about Rs 21,000 per kW.   Going by the central numbers, it would seem that the average cost of a kW of solar installation has been assumed at Rs 65,000 approximately. While this seems close enough,  this translates to an effective subsidy of Rs 72,000 on a two Kw set up at that level with the effective cost at just Rs 58,000 for anyone in UP going for a 2 kW set up, we should be seeing a stampede for installations.  On being asked this specifically, Alok Kumar, Secretary and Chief Project Officer, UPNEDA, confirmed these numbers, adding that the subsidy would only be available for the first two KW or installations upto 2 kW.

One needs to submit an online application to benefit from this scheme, which is going to be available by the end of the week on the Renewable Energy Development Agency’s (UPNEDA) website. The applicant also has to take a no objection certificate (NOC) from a local power distribution company and the UPNEDA. Within one week of the submission of online application, the processing for installation of solar power plant will be initiated.

“Awareness of people about the benefits of solar energy has increased in past few years. For the benefit of the public, the state government announced additional subsidy for installation of solar power plant. The applications for rooftop solar power plant scheme will be accepted through upneda.org.in,” said, Bharat Bhushan, senior project director of UPNEDA, while speaking to another publication.

Under the scheme, there is a scope for installing a common solar power plant of up to 25% capacity of the electric transformer in residential areas. Moreover, the UPNEDA with the help of the state’s power department, has identified 716 poor families in the district living without electricity. The agency is working on a plan to bring electricity to these  houses with solar energy.

This comes under Uttar Pradesh’s Solar Power Policy of 2017, to create a 10 year electricity duty exemption for sale of electricity from solar projects in the state. The policy hopes to give a fillip to private sector participation in Uttar Pradesh’s solar sector, provide solar power project investment opportunities, provide environmentally friendly and affordable power for all, and help to achieve the state’s eight percent solar renewable purchase obligation target by 2022.

This news also comes after the UPNEDA tendered 50MW of rooftop solar PV projects to be developed under empanelment program for 1 kW-500 kW rooftop solar PV systems, earlier this year. This tender was for the rate contract for design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning including warranty, operation and maintenance for five years of grid-connected rooftop solar PV systems.

 

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