Government approves setting up of solar parks, ultra mega solar power projects

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solar projectsThursday, December 18, 2014: The Union Cabinet has sanctioned the scheme for setting up of 25 solar parks with a capacity of 500MW and above and also the ultra mega solar power projects, across various parts of the country, where large chunks of unused land can be considered for this purpose. The decision came with an aim to enhance the energy security and meet the challenges of climate change.

The approval was given at a cabinet meeting chaired by the PM Narendra Modi. This move will make India emerge as one of major solar power producing country in the world, as no other country is developing the solar parks on such a high scale.

According to an official release, these solar parks would be able to accommodate over 20,000MW of solar power projects. The Solar Parks/ Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects will be set in place within next five years, starting from 2014-15 to 2018-19. It would require a financial assistance of around Rs 40,500 million by the Central Government.

It added that the contiguous land of small parks in Himalaya and other hilly states which otherwise is difficult to acquire due to difficult terrain, will be considered for this operation. These parks would be developed in collaboration with the state governments and their agencies. The agency that would be developing and maintaining the park will be decided by the state government.

The state government after designating the agency will have to identify the land for the proposed solar park. It will then have to send a proposal to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) along with the name of implementing agency to get the approval from them. The implementing agency will be provided a grant of up to Rs 250 million for developing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Solar Park, conducting surveys, etc. the required report must be prepared within 60 days. All the states and union territories are entitle to get the benefits under the scheme. Solar parks will enable development of solar power in all those areas where land is inexpensive