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The growth of solar photovoltaic power plants in Punjab has been hampered by delayed disbursement of subsidy to residents. Even as the Punjab government is struggling to install solar rooftop power plants, around 300 applications of subsidy to the tune of around Rs 6 crore are pending for more than six months. As an incentive, the government provide subsidy at the rate of Rs 17,000 per kilowatt (KW).
All those interested in installing solar plants are entitled to avail subsidy from the ministry of new and renewal energy (MNRE) through Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA).
The subsidy is released to the applicant after commissioning of the project and receipt from the MNRE on the basis of rates of different categories.
Arun Khetarpal, proprietor of a Ferozepur-based firm, said there was a long delay in release of subsidy, which has emerged as a big challenge for the firms which install solar rooftop. "Due to this delay, the firms, at times, are forced to pay the subsidy amount to the customers from their own pocket. The customers pay after the subsidy is released by the government," said Khetarpal.
To get a roof top solar plant, one has to apply online after paying a registration fee. After getting approval, the applicant apply for net metering, following which technical feasibility of connecting solar plant to power distribution network is conducted.
If the proposed solar rooftop system can be connected to the power distribution system, the department will issue feasibility intimation letter. On receipt of the letter, the applicant can procure and install the system. After installation is complete, the applicant will communicate the same to the department, which then conducts safety inspection.
The system is commissioned after the electricity department replaces the existing service connection meter with a bi-directional connection meter. The entire process takes around 3 months to complete.
PEDA executive director Balour Singh said the agency has not been able to clear the due subsidy amount as it was pending with the Union ministry.
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