Solar mission’s new priority: off-grid and grid-connected rooftop solar power

3,000 MW of solar energy to be added in second phase of national solar mission

By Ankur Paliwal
Published: Thursday 08 November 2012

Off-grid solar applications and grid-connected rooftop panels will be given more importance in the second phase of the ongoing Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Started in early 2010, the mission is a flagship programme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote solar energy in the country.

The government plans to add 3,000 MW of solar power in the second batch of JNNSM which aims to infuse 20 GW of solar energy by 2017. In the first batch which ends in 2013, the target was 1,000 MW. The policy for phase 2 is expected to be announced in a month.

“We plan to give more impetus to off-grid solar applications and roof top power,” said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary MNRE, while speaking at the sixth Renewable Energy Expo in Greater Noida.

The government will also explore various financing models. “Along with power bundling with conventional power, generation-based incentives and viability-gap funding will also be explored. The newly formed Solar Energy Corporation of India will take care of it," said Kapoor.

"We will also roll out a pilot project of 10 MW in the grid-connected rooftop soon," added Kapoor. MNRE is looking at an investment of Rs 100,000 crore in the second phase.

As for commissioning of the projects under batch 2 of the phase one of JNNSM, they are expected to be commissioned in January next year. In the second batch, 350 MW of solar photovoltaic projects were sanctioned with a deadline of January 2013. Solar thermal projects worth 470 MW of batch 1 will get commissioned by May 2013.

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