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Rs. 4500 Crore for 25 Solar Parks
Dec 12, 2014

The Central Government has given its snaction for gross budgetary support of Rs. 4,050 crore for setting up 25 solar parks of 500 MW each and ultra-mega solar power projects to add 20,000 MW green generation capacity in the next five years. 

The money is expected to be spent in phases, starting with Rs. 500 crore in 2014-15 and rising to Rs 1,400 crore in 2018-19. Solar Energy Corporation of India under the ministry would be the nodal agency and manage the funding for a fee, equivalent to 1% of the grant disbursed.

The parks would be developed in collaboration with state governments. Altogether 12 states have given their consent for setting up solar plants. The project developers would be selected through bidding as per norms set by the central tariff regulator.

Broad contours of the scheme indicate measures to make the parks attractive for investors by offering readymade locations. Promoters usually have to spend a lot of time for getting approval for changing land use and other clearances from various state government bodies, including consent from state transmission utilities.

Under the scheme, developers would be invited after all statutory approvals are in place. Besides, the land would also be levelled and the parks would come with additional infrastructure such as access to roads, water and communication facilities required for commissioning and operating the plants.

Release of central funds would be graded according to milestones, starting with 1 percent on the date of issue of administrative approval. This would go up to 20 percent upon acquisition of 50 percent land. Another 20 percent would be released upon financial closure, which would rise to 25 percent upon construction of pooling substation, land development and other facilities. Another 20 percent fund would be linked to grid connectivity and final installment of 10 percent would be released upon completion of the project.

States would be free to choose their agency for implementing, developing and maintaining the solar parks. Special purpose vehicles of state governments too would be eligible to develop and manage the parks, as would be 50:50 joint ventures between SECI and state government entities.


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