Governor calls for concerted efforts to harness Solar Power



JAMMU: The Governor, Mr. N.N. Vohra, has called for urgently removing all existing impediments in effectively harnessing the solar power potential in the State, particularly in the Ladakh region which has the potential to produce 111 GW. He has directed the Chief Secretary to take an urgent meeting to review, with all the stakeholders, and resolve all existing hurdles. The Governor was reviewing the status of Solar Power generation and development of related infrastructure which is being carried out in the State by the Science & Technology Department and Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA).

The State of J&K, with its huge tracts of barren lands in Ladakh, has the potential to produce 111 GW of solar power. The MNRE, Government of India and J&K government have signed an MOU for the development of two mega solar power projects in the Ladakh region of the State (2500 MW in Kargil and 5000 MW in Leh). Most of the energy generated in these solar parks would be evacuated to the Northern Grid through the presently under construction Leh- Srinagar transmission line.

Pertinent to mention here that the State Government has already issued Solar and Hydel Power policies for creating an attractive environment for the evacuation, purchase, wheeling and banking of electrical energy generated from Renewable Energy (RE) sources and encouraging investment by the private and public sector companies in power generation through RE. For the financial year 2015-16, JKSERC has fixed a target of 1.5% Solar Renewable Power Purchase Obligation (RPO) out of the total RPO of 7.5%.

The State Government has devised an incentive package for private power producers including permission to private players to set up solar, hydel, wind and thermal projects of any size in the State, tax holiday for power generation and distribution companies, easy availability of cheap loans, reduction of custom duty for the import of equipments, a favourable debt equity ratio and making competitive bidding mandatory.

Under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), installation and commissioning of SPPs of 15 and 20 KW capacity has been completed for 60 district and sub-district hospitals; a total of 100 Community Information Centres have been provided with Solar Power Plants (SPPs) of 7.5 and 10 KW. Besides, SPPs of 100 kW at Sheep Breeding Farm, Daksum, Anantnag, and of 10 KW at Panjbakhtar Temple, Jammu, have been installed and commissioned. Installation of 100 kW SPP at University of Kashmir; 150kW SPP at Sainik School Manasbal, Ganderbal, Kashmir; and 90 kW SPP at J&K Institute for Management & Public Administration, Sidhara, Jammu have also been completed.

Project proposals for providing SPPs of various capacities, with 752 KW and 900kW aggregate capacities for different locations of the State at an estimated cost of Rs. 20.30 crore and Rs. 22.50 crore, respectively, have been sanctioned by the MNRE.

The Raj Bhavan spokesperson disclosed that as per the Solar Power Policy approved by the State Cabinet, the grid connected Solar Power Projects are being promoted through IPP mode in the State. The Project Approval Committee has since allotted sites at Chhan Arorian and Logate Morh in Kathua district; and at Meen Chadgan in Samba district for setting up of grid connected SPPs in the State while a few more are in the pipeline.

It was disclosed that MNRE has sanctioned 34,483 Solar Home Lighting Systems (SHLS) and 2,408 Solar Street Lights for 36 un-electrified villages and 263 hamlets of the State.

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