State govt unveils revised solar policy

State govt unveils revised solar policy

 The revised solar policy 2014-21 cleared by the State Cabinet on Thursday encourages people to take up rooftop solar energy production and farmers to utilise their land for development of solar projects.

Briefing reporters, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said the policy envisages generation of 450 MW of power in the next one year through rooftop solar energy projects and by promoting solar energy projects by land-owning farmers.

To make solar energy projects by farmers viable, the government proposes to amend Section 95 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, relaxing the norms for land conversion for solar projects. 

Farmers will also be allowed to enter into joint ventures with entrepreneurs to rent out or lease their land for solar projects.  According to an estimate, it requires an investment of Rs 6 crore to 8 crore to generate one MW of solar power. 

The energy generated (minimum of one MW and maximum of three MW) will be purchased by escoms at the tariff fixed by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) from time to time, he said. Projects of capacity of more than three MW would be selected through competitive bidding process.

  Solar rooftop projects on public buildings, domestic, commercial and industrial establishments would be allowed. The energy pumped into the grid would be paid for, at the rate fixed by KERC.  The present tariff is Rs 7.2 per unit (for projects with subsidy) and Rs 9.56 per unit (projects without subsidy).

FAR in B’lore

Shivakumar said the government was contemplating amending building byelaws in respect of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) in coordination with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike/urban local bodies and urban development department to exempt the additional floor area created under solar photovoltaic panels with light roofing from FAR.

Shivakumar said a dedicated cell with staff drawn from the Revenue department will be formed in the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited for creation of government or private land banks for solar projects.

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