MNRE Amends Guidelines for Solar Projects in Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar

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The scheme duration for solar power projects will now be valid up to March 21, 2020 and current target of 40 MW has been increased to 52 MW

In order to allow the completion of projects, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of India has extended the timeline for implementation of solar power projects in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Ministry came out with new set of guidelines for distributed grid-connected solar PV projects in Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands that include increasing the target capacity and extension of implementation timeline.

Extension of timeline

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The implementation timeline has been extended to 2016-17 to 2019-20 from 2016-17 to 2018-19. The scheme duration will now be valid up to March 21, 2020 and the current target of 40 MW has been increased to 52 MW.

The existing scheme supports development of standalone battery energy storage systems (BESS), standalone solar PV power projects, floating solar PV power plants (with or without BESS) and solar PV projects with BESS transmission system.

“To ensure smooth and timely implementation of the scheme, MNRE will be authorised to make amendments, if required, in the scheme modalities,” stated the new guidelines.

In case NTPC proposes the projects and a long transmission line is needed for the evacuation of power, it would be within the financial ceiling of transmission system cost of Rs 48 crore (US$ 6.7 million) and corresponding financial assistance from central government of 40 per cent of the cost that would equate to Rs 19.2 crore (US$ 2.7 million).

The implementation guidelines for this scheme were initially announced in 2016. The aim of the initiative is to reduce cost of power in the islands which was around Rs 25 per kWh. The scheme had included 40 MW capacity solar power plants at five locations in Port Blair, with 2-3 MW each at Neil and Havelock. In addition, floating PV of 5 MW capacity across different islands of Lakshadweep.

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