It encourages setting up solar plants with a capacity of 1 to 3 MW

The revised solar energy policy, which is coming up before the State Cabinet for clearance on Thursday, will have provisions for encouraging farmers to set up small solar power plants with a capacity of 1 to 3 MW in their farms, according to Minister for Energy D.K. Shivakumar.

Addressing a curtain raiser for the proposed Green Summit 2014, to be organised by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) in Bangalore in June, the Minister said on Wednesday that the policy would provide incentives to farmers who are willing to set up solar plants on their farms.

Another feature would be liberalisation of norms related to purchasing farm land for non-agricultural purposes, to help investors buy land from farmers to set up solar power plants, he said.

Among other things, the policy will lay emphasis on setting up grid-connected rooftop solar power plants. Such rooftop plants could be used either for one’s own power consumption or for selling to the State grid, he said.

Pointing out that only 20 per cent of the investors had managed to implement their projects with respect to the allocation of 12,000 MW of wind energy to various private companies, he said: “We want only serious players.”

Mr. Shivakumar assured the FKCCI that there would not be power shortage for industries. “Even if you bring thousand investors to the State, I will ensure that they get sufficient power,” he said.

Even as the State is witnessing power cuts this summer, Mr. Shivakumar said he had taken care to ensure that the summer was seen off without load-shedding. “I know there are some minor hiccups here and there. But, by and large, we have ensured a comfortable summer in terms of power supply without load-shedding,” he claimed. “Recently, I had announced that load-shedding will be enforced as there was a shortage of about 1,000 MW. But, officials have told me that it is possible to manage the situation without load-shedding.” Speaking on the occasion, Additional Chief Secretary, Energy Department, P. Ravi Kumar, said the revised solar energy policy would restore the “pole position” of Karnataka in the solar energy sector.

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