New Delhi | The Government is planning to set up 17 Special Solar Power Zones in different parts of the country.
The Cabinet in December last year had rolled out a scheme for the development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects, where large chunk of land could be spared for this purpose.
This scheme would envisage supporting States in setting up Solar Parks at various places of the country, with a view to create required infrastructure for setting up Solar Power Projects.
The scheme for development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects has been conceived on the lines of the ‘Charanka Solar Park’ in Gujarat which is a first-of-its-kind large scale Solar Park in the country with contiguous developed land and transmission connectivity.
As many as 12 States have been considered where these Solar Parks with different capacities would come up.
Three Solar Parks of 680, 1000, 1000 MWs Solar Parks are scheduled to come up in Rajasthan, while Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab will have two Solar Parks each.
Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Uttarakhand will have one Solar Park each.
The Solar Parks will be developed in collaboration with State Governments and their agencies. The choice of implementing agency for developing and maintaining the park is left to the State Government. The States, applying under the scheme, will have to designate an agency for the development of the solar park, officials said.
Solar Parks will have appropriate developed land with all clearances, transmission system, water access, road connectivity, communication networks and others.
The scheme will facilitate and speed up installation of grid connected solar power projects for electricity generation on a large scale.
Within a span of five years, starting from 2014-15, the scheme provides for setting up at least 25 Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects targeting over 20,000 MW.
According to officials, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is providing Central Financial Assistance (CFA) of Rs 25 lakh per Solar Park for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR).
Besides, CFA of up to Rs 20 lakh per MW or 30 per cent of the project cost including grid-connectivity, whichever is lower is also provided, officials added.
The Government is also granting concessional Custom Duty or Excise Duty exemption for setting up of these parks.
The State Governments would identify land for setting up Solar Parks.
With Solar Parks being developed on such a large scale, it is likely that India will emerge as a major solar power producing country in the world.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February while inaugurating the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest) had called for partnership between 50 nations having abundant solar power to develop technological solutions.
The Prime Minister had said that the focus on renewable energy was not for laurels but to light the homes of the poor and bring a change in their lives.
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