MNRE Brings Out Guidelines To Implement Off-Grid Solar PV Plants Scheme

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  • Plants will be eligible for central financial assistance (CFA), provided by MNRE, at 90 percent of the benchmark cost
  • The scheme is applicable only to the northeastern states for the installation of off-grid solar PV plants through RESCO mode with central financial assistance (CFA) of 90 per cent of the benchmark cost of the system

The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has taken out new fresh guidelines for the implementation of off-grid solar power plants under the RESCO and PPA mode. It is in reference to the ministry’s earlier order where it had extended the off-grid and decentralised solar photovoltaic (PV) applications program Phase-III, till 31st March 2021.

As per the guidelines, off-grid solar power plants of individual size up to 25 kW can be installed in areas where grid power has not reached or is not reliable under phase-III of the program. The scheme is applicable only to the northeastern states for the installation of off-grid solar PV plants through RESCO mode with central financial assistance (CFA) of 90 per cent of the benchmark cost of the system.

Reduce the financial burden to a significant level

A key feature of the off-grid solar PV system under the program is that the plants will be eligible for central financial assistance (CFA), provided by MNRE, at 90 percent of the benchmark cost. This aims to reduce the financial burden to a significant level as it is otherwise very high in per-unit terms due to the smaller size of plants and investment in storage batteries.

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Under the RESCO model, MNRE proposed that the vendor would install and operate the solar power plant of capacity up to 10 kWp for at least 10 years and solar PV plants of capacity above 10 kWp for at least 15 years. It also said that solar power plants would be installed by the RESCO on build- own-operate-transfer basis.

The ministry also said that if the power producer fails to supply daily minimum guaranteed power (DMGP) or power required by the beneficiary, the developer would be liable to pay penalty for the units supplied less than the DMGP at a rate specified in the PPA. It added that the penalty could be two times the rate at which power is supplied by the developer to the beneficiary.

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