Local Goa News

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Efforts on to cut Goa’s solar power target

PANAJI: Goa is trying to bring down its solar power generation capacity target set by the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC).
The state, which has a target of generating 150 MW of solar power by 2022 (in stages) is trying to bring it down to 40 MW, according to a senior source in the Goa electricity department.
The source said that efforts are on to reduce the solar power generation target to realistic levels by writing to the JERC and meeting up with top officials in the Ministry of Power, including the Power Minister.

“The target of solar power set for the state is not feasible due to land requirement. Setting up such large capacities will require acres and acres of land. The state has a lot of vegetation and large solar plants would mean cutting down on plants and affecting the tree cover. A target of 30 MW to 40 MW of solar power in future would be ideal,” said the source.
Goa has entered into a 31 MW solar power purchase agreement until 2019. This agreement enables the state to fulfil its solar power capacity target of 20 MW for 2016-17 and also meet its renewable power obligation (RPO). The state’s RPO obligation is 40 million units for 2016-17, 54 million units for 2017-18 and 69 million units for 2018-19. Based on the 31 MW purchase agreement, the state will be slightly exceeding its RPO requirement.
A state solar power policy is in the pipeline and delay in finalisation is being attributed to the electricity department. However, issues on metering, interruptions in supply, costly solar power vis-à-vis cheaper power from conventional energy are the major hurdles in formulating the policy, said the source in the electricity department.
The electricity department is keen on “net metering” and is also concerned about the fact that solar power supply is likely to be disrupted during monsoon. Goa’s peak requirement of power is in the night and that is when solar power supply is likely to be low, said the official.
The cost of solar power purchased by the electricity department is Rs 5.50 per unit compared to about Rs 3 per unit for conventional energy purchased from the national grid. Private solar power developers will be supplying power at a higher rate of around Rs eight per unit, if their projects are approved under the prospective state solar power policy. It implies burden on the state exchequer, the official said.

NT Network Goa News

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