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JREDA mulls RESCO model to energise solar generation

| | Ranchi | in Ranchi

Looking at lower than expected contribution and acceptance of solar power generation in the State, the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) is working to switch to RESCO model, a well recognised solar energy generation model, also approved by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The new way is basically to free the customers or households willing to install rooftop solar power plants from arranging the required investment and also from taking care of the unit installed at their places. Instead, what the consumer need to just provide the space for installing rooftop solar plates to a company and get power supply in return at the rate agreed.

“We have achieved considerable success in installing rooftop solar plants at Government premises in the State. Over 500 Government building have solar plant and as many as eight civil courts are running through this besides hospitals, kasturba schools etc. But the success has not been replicated into private houses since issues like hefty investment, delayed subsidy and lower rate of excess power which has to go back to the grid are involved.

“JREDA is working on a RESCO model where the agency identified would take care of all the investment coming and maintenance of the plant.

There would an agreement between the owner and the agency on tariff based power purchase which would surely be lesser than what the consumers pay for grid-based electricity,” said JREDA Director Niranjan Kumar.

Contribution of solar power in Jharkhand’s total current energy requirement- 2100 MW- is merely 28 MW and also just 1.5 per of the 10 per cent mandated share should ideally be coming from renewable energy sources.

To meet the Terms of Reference (TOR) or the mandate, the Energy Department of the State is looking to tap 500 MW from the national grid and another 700 MW from renewable energy based plants located into any other State.

On the policy front the Department is also working on a dedicated rooftop solar policy which would place Jharkhand into an exclusive league of States.

“We have already come up with solar policy and now going to have a separate policy for rooftop solar plants by the next month. If the national level target to harness 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 is to be realised considerable contribution from rooftop plants have to be there,” said Energy Secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni speaking in a workshop organised on this very subject by CEED on Friday.

Apart from policy front, the Department and JREDA are also in talks with State’s power regulator Jharkhand State Energy Regulatory Commission (JSERC) on buyback tariff and limitation over injecting solar power into the grid connected power transformers.

“It is hard to digest for a power consumer to purchase power over Rs 3.5 per unit and sell the solar power generated through rooftop back to the discom at 50 paise! We are in touch with JSERC to revise it and it is likely to be fixed at Rs 3.80 per unit. Also, the cap to blend only 15 per cent solar power into grid through any particular transformer would also be raised,” said RN Singh, Member (Technical) of the Commission.

 
 
 
 
 

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