Chandigarh: The second wave of Covid-19 has halted the UT administration plan to achieve 100MW solar power generation by the end of 2022.
As companies engaged in the work are finding it difficult to get parts of solar plants from different countries on time, the UT’s project planned to start this year got delayed.
A senior UT official said the administration is at the moment completely focusing on saving lives. Solar power generation will be taken up once the crisis is overcome. The target set by the end of 2022 is likely not to be completed and they will now fix revised deadlines, he added.
The ministry of new and renewable energy had enhanced the city’s solar power generation target from 50 megawatt (MW) to 69 MW, to be achieved by 2022. Till date UT has achieved generation of around 40 MW. The UT had planned to achieve more than the target fixed, setting a goal of 100MW by 2022.
Recently, the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) had also turned down UT administration’s plea of implementing Resco (Renewable Energy Service Company) model for solar plants installation in city. The Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science and Technology Promotion Society (Crest), had moved JERC for implementing Resco model in city.
Crest, the project’s nodal agency, had proposed this model after the approval of UT administrator V P Singh Badnore as residents were wary of the initial capital investment.
Under the Resco model, the UT had planned that private companies will install solar-energy plants on private property, and in return, charge the building owner a much lower tariff (Rs 3.44 per unit) than the normal electricity rate (Rs 2.75 to Rs 5.20) for about 15 years (or whatever period is agreed in the tender). Thereafter the house owner will get the plant.
The building owner and the private company will sign a deal. The plant will be installed under the net metering mode, whereby a solar-energy unit is connected to the building’s electricity system and the solar energy exported to the grid is adjusted in terms of units imported from the electricity department during a billing cycle.
Deadline not extended after March 31
The UT administration last year had extended the solar installation deadline till next March 31, 2021. But recently, the UT had not extended the deadline. Last year, the deadline was extended as lockdown was in force. AT that time the UT administration had also decided not to impose any penalty on residents till the lockdown gets over. The administration in a notification issued on May 18, 2016, had made installation of rooftop solar power plants mandatory in residential houses measuring 500 sq yd and above and group housing societies.