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The State government has, through its newly announced ‘Telangana Solar Power Policy 2015’, showered a flurry of sops on the solar power projects to come up in the Telangana State in the next five years.
Single window and speedy clearance, deemed conversion to non-agricultural land status, exemption from Land Ceiling Act, exemption from wheeling charges, electricity duty and cross subsidy surcharge, deemed scheduling, 100 percent energy banking, and refund of VAT and stamp duty are a few of the policy provisions cleared by the Energy Department.
These incentives will be applicable for 10 years from the date of the project’s commissioning. The policy will be applicable to grid-connected projects to supply to State discoms or third parties within the State, projects for captive or group captive generation, solar rooftop projects, off the grid applications, and solar parks.
A solar park implementing agency with either partial or full private participation, a nodal agency for solar rooftop systems and solar pump-sets, and a dedicated solar policy cell in discoms will be set up for policy implementation.
Rooftop solar consumers are free to choose either the net or gross metering option for sale of power to Discoms, for 25 years, with tariff variations between the two. Applications for rooftop projects or open access clearances should be processed by the respective Discoms within 21 days from the date of application, or else, they will be deemed to have been approved.
The gross metering scheme will also be extended to farmers setting up solar pump-sets, the commercial framework and technical aspects of which will be finalised by Discoms in a month.
All the projects will be awarded must-run status, which is to say that power thereof must be purchased by Discoms as and when produced.
In addition, captive and open access consumers shall be permitted 100 per cent energy banking, which means that they can bank the energy, and use at a later date, except during peak months and hours.
The unutilised banked energy shall be considered as deemed purchase by Discoms.
Land requirement for the exemption from Land Ceiling Act will be calculated at five acres per megawatt. A separate category for solar projects will be created for permission from panchayats.
A seven-member high level monitoring committee will be constituted for monitoring the progress of the projects, with State Energy Secretary, CMDs of TSTransco and both discoms, VC & MD of Non and Renewable Energy Development Corporation or Director (Commercial) of the TSSPDCL as member-convener, besides two representatives from industry bodies (rotating), and two representatives of solar power developers.
Modalities for implementation will be finalised and announced in 30 days, the policy paper said.
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