State Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said that the development is a major boost towards the state’s commitment to promote renewable energy.
Gujarat in 2019 notified the Policy for Development of Small-Scale Distributed Solar Projects, which aims to facilitate development of solar projects with size of 0.5 MW to 4 MW in the state’s distribution network.
“In a major boost to the state’s commitment to promote the renewable energy sector, all four DISCOMs of state-owned Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) have signed PPAs for 2500 MW solar power under a unique scheme for small scale distributed solar projects. These projects will be commissioned in 2022,” Patel said.
This will provide a fillip to the country’s mission of achieving 175 GW renewable energy target by year 2022, and 450 GW by year 2030, as set by the Prime Minister of India, it said.
“Gujarat is the only state in the country which has signed power purchase agreements for such a large capacity through such small-scale distributed solar projects,” Patel said.
This will facilitate rapid development of solar projects in areas with non-fertile land, and also encourage the participation of small investors and entrepreneurs, he said.
Through these solar projects, more than Rs 10,000 crore will be invested in green energy and its allied sector, he said.
As per the 2019 policy, the GUVNL had invited applications from individuals, company or body corporate or association of individuals, co-operative societies, or artificial juridical person to set up such small scale solar projects and supply power to the DISCOMS at applicable tariff of Rs 2.83 per unit for a period of 25 years.
State-owned DISCOMs, i.e. PGVCL, UGVCL, MGVCL and DGVCL had received 12,404 applications for aggregate capacity of 7,959 MW solar power from small scale project developers within three months despite difficulties faced due to COVID-19 pandemic, said the release.
The connectivity to the transmission network was allotted to these applicants on a first come first served basis.
State’s energy regulator, Gujarat Energy Regulatory Commission (GERC) had approved the draft PPA and extended the date of signing it at tariff of Rs 2.83/unit up to May 31, 2021, at the request of the developers considering difficulties caused due to the pandemic.
Within a very short time span of about two months i.e. from April 1, 2021, to May 31, 2021, the DISCOMs signed 3,979 PPAs for aggregate solar capacity of 2480 MW, amid second wave of COVID-19 and impact of powerful cyclone Tauktae, which is an unprecedented achievement.
These projects will be commissioned within the next 18 months,” said the release.