Arrangement is to buy back the power generated by them

Walking the extra mile to encourage renewable energy projects, the government has decided to invite tenders from private parties to establish solar power plants to the tune of 1,000 MW with the arrangement to buy back the electricity generated by them.

A unit price of Rs. 8.2 is tentatively fixed for purchase of the power generated by these plants, subject to approval by AP Electricity Regulatory Commission. Now, over Rs. 17 per unit is being paid on purchase of solar energy from the first batch of these plants.

Meagre capacity

However, only a meagre 23 MW capacity is available under these plants now as against 95 MW sanctioned by the Centre to the State under Phase I and II of Jawaharlal Solar Energy Mission (JSEM).

The decision to call for bids for 1,000 MW outside the purview of the JSEM was taken by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at a meeting here on Friday with Ministers, including Anam Ramanarayan Reddy (Finance), J. Geetha Reddy (Major industries) and P. Sudarshan Reddy (Major Irrigation), Chief Secretary Minnie Mathew and senior officials.

In the light of the severe power shortage, he wanted the solar projects to be completed within six months after starting of the work.

Principal Secretary, Energy, M. Sahoo said the government was planning a scheme to link solar energy plants to its educational institutions for lighting, cooking and hot water purposes. AP New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation had been asked to work out cost details.