The state has announced its aim to generate 7,500 mw of solar power, which would be half the share of electricity that the government wants to generate from renewable sources of energy. It has proposed various ways to generate and encourage solar power. The energy department said the state would be the highest generator of solar power by 2019 in the country.
The state government has decided to put more emphasis on solar power generation as Maharashtra has a good potential for it, as indicated by various surveys. “The state receives solar radiation 5.5-6.0kWh/m/day, which is considered to be good for power generation. Also, areas like Nagpur, Konkan, Pune, Marathwada would be ideal for the generation, as per the surveys,” an official from the energy department said.
The Maharashtra government’s initiative for solar power generation is also part of the Prime Minister’s announcement that one lakh mw of power would be generated till 2022. “But we will try to achieve the generation of 7,500 mw of power till 2019,” the official added.
Hoping to achieve the target, the state government has invited public private partnership to generate solar power. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco) will take up the challenge of generating 2,500 mw of solar power and private players will be encouraged to generate the remaining 5,000 mw.
“The Mahagenco can explore 10 per cent of its generation from water sources like dams and ponds. It can also consider water resources in possession with the local civic bodies,” the government policy said. The state owned-power distribution company can also use power generated from the private projects, it added.
According to the policy, the only projects that will be recognised are the ones that will generate a minimum of one mw worth of power. It can include generation on lands belonging to industrial zones, townships etc. The policy has also suggested the designing of solar parks. “The projects under the solar parks are expected to generate power worth at least one mw or more. The developers can consume the energy to make the project cost viable. If small projects are coming together generating one mw or more solar power, the Mahagenco can connect them with transmission lines,” the policy stated.
The government has also assured some concessions in land and taxes for particular types of solar generation plants. It has also promised to provide more incentives for the domestic use of solar power via panels on rooftops.