The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has fixed Rs. 18.45 as the tariff per unit of electricity generated through solar power under the Rooftop Power and Stand alone Small Grid-connected Power Plant (RPSSGP) scheme, a component of the Central Government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

This tariff was the highest for power generated from any source. The Mission targets generating 20,000 MW through solar power by 2022 through achieving 20 million square metres of solar thermal collector area.

S.E.S. Syed Ahamed, Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) Deputy General Manager of Madurai region, told The Hindu on Wednesday that Tamil Nadu was probably the first State to determine tariffs under this Mission.

Major boost

Already, nearly 50 applications to join this Mission have come from southern districts. TEDA Madurai region comprises 11 southern and central districts from Kanyakumari to Tiruvarur. More than 30 applications have come from Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts.

A major boost to the Mission came when the Centre reduced the minimum generation capacity under the scheme from the earlier 1 megawatt to 100 kilowatt, which could cost upto Rs. 2 crore.

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), the programme administrator implementing this scheme nationwide, has fixed July 14 as the last date for pre-registration with TEDA. Registration with IREDA would commence on July 15. The first list of shortlisted companies would be announced on August 16.

In the short term, the Mission aims to ramp up the capacity of grid-connected solar power generation to 1,000 MW by 2010 and 10,000 MW of installed power capacity by 2017. Achieving the ambitious target of 20,000 MW would depend on the ‘learning' phase, which if successful, would lead to scaling up based on availability of international finance and technology.

He said that the ‘Tariff Order for projects covered by the JNNSM' was passed by the regulatory body on May 27. This would provide a major boost for power generation through solar technology.

Developers have been showing increasing interest in solar power due to its eco-friendly nature and due to the many incentives being offered by the Government, he said.

Under the Mission, the distribution licensee of the respective States, which is Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) Limited in the present instance, would enter into 25-year power purchase agreements with the solar photovoltaic power generators chosen by the Centre with a nation-wide capacity of 80 MW.

Those who have already given application should contact the TEDA Madurai Regional Office at S.G.S.Y. Shopping Complex (1st Floor), DRDA Building (Opposite Anna Bus Stand). (“Telephone Number: 0452 253 5067) to expedite pre-registration process.