The government has permitted doubling of the capacity of the scheme for progress of solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects to 40,000 mw, Union minister Piyush Goyal said.
The pronouncement taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will involve setting up of at least 50 solar parks with a volume of at least 500 mw each in numerous parts of the country.
Smaller parks in Himalayan and other hilly states, where adjoining land may be difficult to obtain in view of the difficult terrain, will also be measured under the scheme, Goyal, the minister for power, coal, renewable energy and mines added.
The volume of the solar park scheme has been doubled from 20,000 mw after considering the ultimatum for additional solar parks from the states. The solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects will be set up by 2019-20 with financial support of Rs 8,100 crore from the Centre. Production of 64 billion units of electricity per year under the scheme will lead to abatement of about 55 million tonnes of carbon every year.
Goyal said the scheme will also contribute to long-term energy security of the country and promote ecologically sustainable growth by reducing carbon emissions and carbon footprint, along with generating large direct and indirect employment opportunities in solar and allied industries such as glass, metals and heavy industrial equipment.
The renewable energy ministry will sanction financial assistance of up to Rs 20 lakh per megawatt or 30% of the project cost, whichever is lower. Solar Energy Corporation India will administer the scheme.
CCEA also approved investment by state-owned SJVN Limited in the 900 mw Arun-III hydropower project in Nepal. Financial closure for the project is expected to be achieved by September and it is scheduled to be completed in five years.
SJVN bagged the project through international competitive bidding and a memorandum of understanding was signed between Nepal and the company in March 2008 for execution on build-own-operate-transfer basis for 30 years.